Monday, May 11, 2009

Betty Beaufort (Queen Memorial) Testimony at City Council May 9 (transcript)

MS. BEAUFORT: Good afternoon, Madam President and members of City Council. My name is Betty Beaufort. I'm here to represent Queen Memorial Library, Point Breeze. I just want to tell you the reasons why we don't want our library -- we don't want any libraries closed, but specifically Queen Memorial.

We can feed our minds and take trips without leaving Point Breeze by reading our books, also computer usage, like doing resumes for jobs. Children use the library for doing their homework and special projects. Bottom line, we're asking for full funding to restore the libraries to its level of function, open six days and fully staffed. And I find out our pool is now going to be closed. My question is, what are we to do with our children for the summer? Blood in the street? You know the saying, An idle mind is the devil's workshop.

We need our libraries and we need our pools.

I also have some letters from our children that go to Queen Memorial. I want you to hear what the children had to say:

Dear Councilwomen and men, my name is Praise Robinson. I am 11 years old. The one place I love is the Queen Memorial Library. The school I go to is W.G. Smith School. At the library I like to read, play games, get on the computer and I like to do my homework, and I get help with it.

The library is important to me, because when I have homework, important projects, this is the closest place I can come and do it to get it done.

Please don't close down the library. We know how you would feel if this was your home library.

Praise Robinson.

I also have another one, from Cameron:

Dear Councilwomen and men, my name is Cameron. I really enjoy the library called Queen Memorial. I am ten years old, and the reason why I like this library, because I'm doing my homework, getting on the computer, coloring, painting and reading and a whole lot of other stuff. The library is very fun.

I have one more, because this is the way the children feel in Queen Memorial, because this is about the children:

Dear Councilwomen and men, my name is Samantha Robbins. I go to Vare Elementary. We really need our home library. Please don't close the library. Kids come to the library to stay off the streets and get educated. Think hard. Queen Memorial is important to us.

Sincerely, Samantha.

And we also have a crosscut of kids. We have about six or seven schools that go and use the library -- St. Thomas Aquinas, Prep Charter, Bok High School and University Institute and Arthur's. So we're asking, please do the right thing by all the libraries in Philadelphia, especially for Queen Memorial.

Thank you.

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