Time and time again,we see people making the case for our public libraries. This short documentary film about why libraries matter reveals the profound value public libraries have in the lives of New York City residents. The stories range from those who are home-bound and receive delivered books, to disenfranchised youth who find community at their local library to New Americans taking ESL classes and supporting other immigrant families in the citizenship process. These are just a few examples of the ways this brief yet powerful film illustrates the ripple effects one public institution can have in the lives of many. As noted in a previous Publicly Speaking blog post, usage of libraries has dramatically increased across the country while funding to support them continues to decline, leading to cuts in staffing and shorter hours. At Public Works, we believe that documenting the ripple effects of a public system and emphasizing the broader community impact is an effective strategy for helping audiences understand the full range of benefits a public system can have when it works well and is adequately supported. You can learn more about the power of ripple effects through this handy exercise guide on our website.
We feel optimistic that videos like this one can inspire all of us to make the case for our beloved public libraries, one branch at a time (or one ripple at a time).