By JOSH BOLLING
Cobb County libraries have added humanitarianism to their very short list of reasons to avoid budget cuts for the fourth consecutive year in a row.
Attendance to the public library has dropped dramatically over the past three years. Interestingly, 90 percent of Americans polled by Pew Surveys agreed that public libraries are important and helpful to the youth.
“It’s a bummer the library has to downsize, but now every Cobb County library donates the books that are checked out the least to our organization, ‘Books for Africa,’” said Craig Green of Books for Africa. “We package up donated books at our warehouse and ship them out to the countries in Africa with the lowest literacy rate.”
Sixty four percent of the voters on VH1.com said that being illiterate would totally suck. Some internet trollers suggested that if Americans stopped going to libraries, they could send all of the books and end illiteracy on the continent.
“I do not think Americans should stop visiting public libraries,” said Michael Jenkins, director of operations, Books for Africa. “I don’t think that’s the answer. I absolutely believe that it is possible to end illiteracy in this world, but abandoning public libraries is not going to accomplish anything.”
Amongst the countries with the five lowest literacy rates in the world, all but one country comes from Africa.
Cobb County Public Libraries will be donating over 500 books a year to Books for Africa with this new arrangement. Workers at the nonprofit said that if donations stay at the current rate, Africa’s literacy rate will be on par with America’s in year 2065.