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Joe Cardona: Libraries are essential, they must be preserved – Other Views

“As a kid growing up in Hialeah in the 1970s, I cherished my visits to our public library. John F. Kennedy library, which is still located on Hialeah’s bustling 49th street, provided a respite from the mundane. The JFK library was where I first read about Harriet Tubman’s heroic Underground Railroad, Vince Lombardi’s tenacity as a football coach, José Martí’s valiant struggles for Cuba’s freedom and Mark Twain’s humorous chronicles of the South. When I was in college, I would still periodically duck into the JFK library to cram for a test. It felt good to see grade-school kids milling around the place making discoveries similar to the ones I had made years before. I felt pride and continuity. I felt a great sense of egalitarianism and down-home American fairness — the library afforded everyone the same opportunities to learn, question, process and dream. As the Miami-Dade County Commission heads into another difficult budget session, there is a $20-million gap that needs to be covered if the county is going to sustain library services as they are today. (via

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