No Villains

Source: John N. Berry III, Library Journal, September 15, 2009

Threatened cuts and partial restorations point out the ambiguous politics of library funding.

Hard times bring out the ambiguity in politics. Except for fiscal extremists, most politicians in North America want to support their libraries. When LJ planned to name the heroes and villains in the politics of library funding, we rediscovered that politics just isn’t that simple.

We learned that it is a bad idea for library advocates and political strategists to label even what seem to be the most offensive politicians as villains. Library advocates are understandably constrained from getting angry. Attacking a politician rarely changes his or her mind, and after you have done it, negotiating with that person for library support is nearly impossible.

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