by Mark Y. Herring (Dean of Library Services, Dacus Library, Winthrop University)


Imagine if you will the near perfect statefunded program. Yes, I know, such words sound like an oxymoron, given the track record of both state and federally-funded programs, past, present and undoubtedly in the future. Indeed, such words sound almost mythological in light of recent attempts by the federal government to spend us out of the current recession with still doubtful results (so far, a record deficit). Yet, you’re an imaginative individual and can put aside petty political persiflage and visualize such a program. Not only does this program do precisely what it said it would do, it does it so surprisingly well that, as a taxpayer, you’re completely astonished and whole-heartedly impressed. Let’s further suppose — so long as it’s all supposition — that we witness daily the success of this program, not only to those for whom it was originally intended, but also to many others who, by virtue of their station or accident of location, also benefit massively from this program.

Now, it’s morning in the Palmetto State and we wake from our dream: our state legislature cuts the funding to this program by more than 90%!

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