Archive for the ‘Libraries’ Category

May 23, 2007

Turner Courts – Unsung Heroes and Hope

Last Friday, I was invited to attend the Central Dallas Ministries After School Academy (ASA) Art Show. Dr Janet Morrison (blog link) runs the program, along with a lot of residents that give their time to this cause. The art show, which consists of a silent auction of photos and drawings, raises money for the ASA Program and was held at the South Side on Lamar.

This program is based in Turner Courts. Turner Courts is in the far end of South Dallas, south of the intersection of 175 & 310 (map).

View more about the art show here, on the ASA Blog.

I got to meet a lot of the volunteers like Wyshina and others, the children, and Dr. Morrison. These children are special! They are congenial, talented, and intelligent. The Kashias and Danyelles and Dariuses of the world need support to fully blossom. They represent hope and the future, and the possibilities of achieving against all odds. Dr. Morrison told me about the kids from that area that became college students. Unfortunately, these folks are on their own.

I learned that the children of Turner Courts and Rochester Park have no library, not even a kiosk! The closest library is the MLK Branch, some three miles away. Yet, the area has two council members since it is part of District 4 and District 7 (both of which have been in office since 1999). How can you encourage kids to read, when they have nowhere to pick up a book?

We’ve heard the unctuous grandstanding by current City Council Members about places like Turner Courts when they are in a tight spot about some other issue. What I learned is that nothing has been done for these people or these programs. They received some lip service years ago, and they are all hanging on by a thread. Maybe, with the upcoming change in representation in this area we can help these people that are obviously trying to help themselves.

These people do not want to be portrayed as victims. What they need is support for the things they are trying to do in this community.

When I said that we are going to change the game in this City, I meant it. The lip service and pandering and using poor Black children as martyrs must stop!

I intend to keep in touch with Dr. Morrison and the ASA. The children and parents of this community are isolated from resources and opportunity. This must change.

February 22, 2007

Dallas Libraries Need Work

Yesterday, I was out and about and needed to use my laptop to blog, make future plans, promote hot political websites… you know, the usual.

I found myself going to the Casa View branch near the intersection of Gus Thomasson and Ferguson.

Now the Library system has been promoting the fact that they have wi-fi in all of the branches. It’s a great thing, except there’s a little problem at Casa View. For all of the internet access, they have ONE working outlet available for laptops. If someone’s using it, you’re out of luck. (OK, they have two outlets in the whole place and one’s broken.) And the copier is on that one outlet. Nice.

Conversely, I ended up going to the Skillman/Southwestern branch. That library has tons of outlets and even a “quiet room” with multiple outlets, chairs, and tables.

I know that Casa View is going to be replaced by the Lochwood branch going in at Jupiter & Garland next year, but that doesn’t mean that someone shouldn’t have thought things through and called a friendly electrician to upgrade a bit for us PC users.