Magazine article Information Today

Good News, at Last

Magazine article Information Today

Good News, at Last

Article excerpt

I was so taken by one recent headline that I actually left the newspaper folded back so that I can see the front page every time I enter my office. There on the salmon-pink front page of the Financial Times (FT) from Sept. 16 are the bold words: "Recession likely over in US, says Bernanke."

The FT story explains that it made this bold assertion based on the fact that consumer spending was up in August. OK, that was admittedly when Obama's Cash for Clunkers program was riding high, so only sales in September and October could actually show if we have an economic recovery on our hands.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

By the time you read this, you can tell me whether the FT was overzealous when it printed the story in September. Until then, it's an assertion that gives me hope, so I will keep the paper folded back. Where I live in Philadelphia, I certainly see the telltale signs of money coming back. Construction projects that were put on hold for months are suddenly resuming. The cacophony of jackhammers has become a melody in the crisp fall dawns (and how sweet the sound).

There were threats (again) of library closings in Philadelphia this autumn, but it's starting to sound a little bit like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." After all, isn't it true that libraries are so important to our society that the mere thought of closing them brings an otherwise silent population to its feet in support of new state and city budgets? I think I'm smelling a red herring as much as a recession in these alarms. But political ploy or not, the threatened demise of the Free Library of Philadelphia was highly exaggerated. …

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