those of which we are aware and those we'll know about only years from
Already a concern of those we elect to shape public policy, equal access
to the technology required to access the vast information warehouse known
as the Internet is rapidly becoming a major social issue.
In a small but significant contribution aimed at equalizing this access,
billionaire software mogul Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, has given
$97,241 to the Glendale Library for computer work stations, software,
hardware, computer lab equipment, and training and technical support.
It is a welcome and appreciated gesture.
Through the Gates Library Initiative, Glendale will get six computer
workstations each at the Central Library, Grandview and Casa Verdugo
branches, and the Central Library will get a 10-workstation computer lab.
Glendale libraries already have 24 computers five at the Central Library
for accessing the Internet and other resources. Officials say computer
users often must wait in line to use the machines, so there clearly is a
need for more.
But alone more computers are just part of the solution. Longer library
hours are also needed.
Unfortunately library services are always the first to suffer when the
city faces a budget crunch, and they're always the last to be restored
when funds are available.
This year is the time for Glendale to catch up with all our surrounding
communities and find the money to reopen our libraries on Sunday. There
is no longer a fiscal excuse not to, and the need is certainly going to
The ones who would benefit most are also those who need it most
residents without access to the information society at work or at home.
Weekends are when they need to be plugged in, and Sundays are likely to
be one of the libraries busiest days.
During upcoming budget hearings, contact the City Council and urge it to
fund Sunday opening of the libraries. It would be an investment in the
human capital of our community thats been neglected for far too long.