Jeb Bush Winces at Price Tag on State History

Jeb Bush Winces at Price Tag on State History

“It took 150 years to build the collection in the State Library. Jeb Bush, the self-styled “Education Governor,” may destroy it in a few weeks.

Housing and maintaining the library costs around $5-million a year. According to Bush, Florida just can't afford it. If the governor gets his way, the library will close. The library's archivists and curators will be fired. The 1-million books and documents that tell the story of Florida from the arrival of Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 to the disputed presidential election of 2000, will be packed up and sent away….

The attack on the library would be absurd if it weren't so crass. At first, Bush apparatchiks said the library would be transferred to Florida State University. Not that there would be any extra money, or staff, or a building. It sounded like they just figured to grab a bunch of boxes at the liquor store, gather up the books and papers, throw them in the back of the SUV and leave them on the steps of Robert Manning Strozier Library for FSU to care for….

The library is the memory of Florida. The library is the treasure house of our heritage. If we lose it, we will never get it back — not at any price.” [The St. Petersburg Times, via]

Michael Pate notes that “the Florida Historical Society has placed a petition online in order to save the Florida State Library,” and Morgan Wilson is trying to figure out if public libraries are essential services in Minnesota.  [The Shifted Librarian]

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