Q: What is MOREnet?
A: It is a Missouri Research and Education Network.
It would be difficult to walk into any Missouri library and not see people actively engaged with the computers available there.
They will be the young, and the older. They will not be programmed into Hoyle Card Games, or fast action videos. For the most part they will be in a working mode of Lifetime Education. They are using computers as another means to improve their lives.
Most of these people are utilizing the public use computers for such purposes as pursing a degree via Distance Learning (on-line learning.) They could be job searching - on-line application, resume writing, and job interview preparation.
Some companies will not consider job application if a person does not have access to a computer.
The public library is a very comfortable place to study and concentrate. The library provides serenity and a congenial atmosphere where the older person may be at ease, and the younger more attuned to the task at hand.
There is no charge to use these computers. Libraries are not profit making organizations. They are funded out of our taxes, but membership is free for residents all over the state of Missouri.
Vital to this program of Lifetime Education, or Distance Learning, is MOREnet. It has been funded by the state with discounted Internet services, and databases MOREnet provides such as Learning Express Library.
It has not been determined by committee yet, but Governor Nixon's budget may have a 33% cut to core funding of MOREnet. There have been other cuts in the past, but this one is drastic.
When it comes to education many of us are prone to a great many platitudes.
We echo such statements as: "Education is the foundation of our country." "Educating the young guarantees a successful future." "Teachers are not paid enough in relation to their value." etc. etc. etc.
And then we move on to less challenging subjects.
But being the pragmatic world that it is, what could be more practical and essential than the use of a program like MOREnet, not only to advance education, but a workable tool for economic development.
As good citizens we should take a serious look at the proposed cuts to MOREnet and see if there is any justification when trivial matters often remain status quo.
Your comments can be dropped off to any of the Dunklin County libraries to be forwarded to Governor Nixon. Or you can write him directly at P.O. Box 720, Jefferson City, Mo., 65102.
Here are a few famous quotations that fall out of the platitude category:
"Learned institutions ought to be favorite subjects with every free people. They throw the light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty dangerous encroachments on the public library." - James Madison.
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." - Chinese Proverb.
"In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed. Not all your heroism, not all your social charm, not all your wit, not all your victories on land or at sea, can move back the finger of fate. Today we maintain ourselves. Tomorrow science will move forward yet one more step, and there will be no appeal from the judgment which will be pronounced on the uneducated." - Alfred North Whitehead.