Without a state budget in place, Connecticut is operating under executive order. Governor Dannel Malloy has outlined cuts to get state finances in line. Among them are funds for local libraries.
On a sultry weekday morning, patrons escape the heat and gather at the Essex Library in Essex, Connecticut, for a weekly book discussion.
Librarian Emily Boucher leads the discussion of Kazuo Ishiguro’s 1989 novel The Remains of the Day. Library copies of the book litter the table – copies on loan from other public libraries, sent via the state’s interlibrary loan system, a system which library patron Bob Phoenix routinely relies on.
“I constantly use it. The only other resource for me is to go and buy a book through Amazon or some other agency, and so that if I had absolutely no access, this would cost me a good deal of money each year,” Phoenix says.