TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Congressman Raul Grijalva is worried Federal budget cuts will starve local libraries.
Library backers say modern libraries have economic benefits for everyone that go beyond books.
Books may be one of the oldest ways to store data but advocates say libraries are the gateways to the internet for families with no computers or connections at home.
Congressman Raul Grijalva gathered local library backers, and almost 90 members of Congress to fight library cuts in President Trump's proposed budget.
They say 186 million dollars in cuts is a tiny cut in the overall budget that will bleed life from the libraries.
Congressman Grijalva says libraries help build the economy, by helping people get good jobs.
“These centers have become because of access to the internet, to computers, an area for job searches, an area for resume building, again, a service."
One of the points you often hear about libraries is they don't just help with education in general they help people become better citizens and understand their government so they can work within it more effectively.
Librarian Anna Sanchez says libraries learn the specific needs of their neighborhoods and focus resources to help.
"We look at the demographics and if we have a high unemployment rate then we have programs that help people find employment; and if you have a community that has lots of elementary age students then you work with the schools and you create programs in the library that are going to serve those students.”
Grijalva sees the library cuts as part of a ideological effort to cut funding for arts and education but he says cutting libraries closes the books on the future so he wants the money restored.