Sunday, June 21, 2009

Get involved!

It's been a hectic couple of weeks for us. A friend's wedding in CT, plus several work trips for Andrew have largely kept us away from our digital lives. But we're back.

We just got word that Ohio's governor is proposing a ginormous cut to Ohio library budgets. It may result in as much as a 50% reduction in funding and for many of the state's nearly 300 public libraries, this could spell disaster. Reduced staff, reduced hours, or outright closure...just when library services are so desperately needed. This comes on the heels of the Ohio Historical Society's announcement that if local funding for some of its sites around the Buckeye State isn't obtained, they will be forced to shut those sites down at the end of the month. One of these sites is the Campus Martius of the first official settlement in the Northwest Territory, and the place where Andrew cut his teeth on decorative arts research.

We certainly don't want to step up on a political soapbox, and we know that the economy sucks and cuts need to be made....BUT libraries and museums form the foundation for our shared culture and heritage. Without these treasured institutions and their hardworking staff, much of what we collectors, dealers, and auctioneers know about the stuff we buy and sell would not be known. If we, as an industry, are serious about turning young folks on to antiques, then we need to do what we can to support the libraries and museums that get kids and young adults interested in history and in learning. Call your reps and senators, make a donation (of time or money), and, most of all, go and visit your local library, museum, or historical society. Tell them you appreciate what they do!

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