BOSTON — Speaking before hundreds of librarians from across the state on Tuesday, Senator Eric P. Lesser advocated for increased funding for public libraries and told them “you are at the front lines of expanding that circle of opportunity and equity for all of our Commonwealth’s residents.”
Earlier this year, Sen. Lesser was named Senate Chair of the Legislative Library Caucus, a group of legislators who make library funding a specific concern and priority.
Among the public libraries’ priorities are increased funding for technology upgrades to bring high-speed internet access to all public libraries.
Nearly 30,000 people in Massachusetts rely on public libraries for internet access. Many communities in Western Massachusetts in particular still lack access to broadband internet.
“We know that free and open access to information is the great equalizer in our society. No matter what station you come from, no matter what family you’re born into, no matter what your circumstances are in life, if you have the same access to information as everybody else, then all of a sudden the playing field starts to get just a little more level,” said Sen. Lesser.
“In an era of overflowing and unlimited information, the role that each of you play as librarians, as custodians of that information and as a trusted access point for people to information is more important than ever before,” he added.