Save MO Libraries Update
This is a piece written by Wick Thomas who works in Teen Services at the Kansas City Public Library. We are publishing this update in support of Save Missouri Libraries and what they are doing to advocate for over 6 million dollars in state funding. If you are interested in supporting Save Missouri Libraries there are a lot of excellent calls to action at the end of this post.
by Wick Thomas:
We arrived at the Missouri River Regional Library at 11:00 a.m. for pizza, to make posters, and to have an orientation for the day. (The Missouri River Regional Library staff is amazing!) Then we headed over to the South Steps of the State Capitol for the rally at 1:00.
We then headed to the Governor's office. His staff told us he was currently out of state but knew that we were going to come to his office anyway to speak with them. We got many of the teens into the reception area and then started calmly and respectfully asking them questions. After one of our teen's questions we were told that since there were meetings going on we were being too loud and had to leave. (We have video that clearly shows we were not being loud.) We asked if their staff would come out into the hall with us and talk to us there so we wouldn't bother anyone and they denied that request. Mr. Kemper and myself tried to reason with the staff and were then told that they would have State Troopers escort us out if we didn't leave immediately. We complied and left his office. They then called up extra security to monitor us and had Governor Nixon escorted out with four police officers. (I guess he wasn't actually out of state!) Many of our teens then went up and watched the chamber from the visitor's gallery and then we boarded the buses back to Kansas City.
Needless to say, many of our teens are now especially fired up about this topic. I have never been so disrespected by a public official and am especially appalled they treated our kids that way and then blamed it on them. (When they had already met with a dozen other officials with no problems at all.)
What now?- This is just the start.
- After the teens were treated so poorly, the hashtag #savemolibraries really took off.
- The petition to the Governor has received over 300 signatures since yesterday. On it you will find contact information for the Governor and for the House/Senate budgetary committees. Please share it with everyone you know.
- It is especially important that you contact the Senate budgetary committee members right now as they began their deliberations this week.
- Follow @kclibraryteens on Twitter and Facebook. (Pics from the rally are there!)
- Direct people to savemolibraries.org for updates on the campaign.
- This link includes handouts and images you can use at your library!
- Let me know if you want to get involved so we can make this a more unified statewide effort!