Libraries don’t need to be daycare centers to have community value, to be part of the safety net. Libraries are already, naturally, a part of the safety net, because they empower their community with equitable access to knowledge. And libraries can’t do that without librarians — someone who knows their collection, who knows their patrons, who has the right training and the right salary. Someone who has compassion, and the financial and social resources to act on that compassion without losing their mind.
If a community doesn’t feel ownership of its library, it’s going to go away. And if the people at the city and the county aren’t made to understand a library’s value for the community, they’re not going to fund it.