Here's the first article, with a snippet from the beginning, then the link:
Telling her mother that she wanted to come to the aid of a library under attack, 11-year-old Sydney Sabbagha stood at the podium before the Oak Brook village board.
"I used to go to the library knowing there were people there to help me find a book. Now there is no one to help me," Sydney said solemnly. "It will never be the same without the people you fired."
Sydney nestled back into her seat, but that didn't stop 69-year-old criminal attorney Constantine "Connie" Xinos from boldly putting her in her place.
"Those who come up here with tears in their eyes talking about the library, put your money where your mouth is," Xinos shot back. He told Sydney and others who spoke against the layoffs of the three full-time staffers (including the head librarian and children's librarian) and two part-timers to stop "whining" and raise the money themselves.
"I don't care that you guys miss the librarian, and she was nice, and she helped you find books," Xinos told them.
"Don't cry crocodile tears about people who are making $100,000 a year wiping tables and putting the books back on the shelves," Xinos smirked, apparently referencing the fired head librarian, who has advanced degrees and made $98,676 a year. He said Oak Brook had to "stop indulging people in their hobbies" and "their little, personal, private wants."
You can find the rest of this appalling tale here. (And thank you, B. Strand, for sending it to me.)
The second story starts like this:
More and more patrons are walking through the doors at libraries throughout Douglas County, but it’s not because of a sudden rise in avid readers.
Job hunters are coming in droves to utilize free resources offered by Douglas County Libraries — including employment databases, helpful workshops and Internet-ready computers.
Dozens of out-of-work residents have found employment by fine-tuning their resumes, browsing through the Douglas County Employment iGuide and drafting attention-grabbing cover letters.
Many of those who utilize library job-searching services do not have to go it alone. A team of reference librarians, along with a few volunteers, walk laid-off workers through a process that many have not experienced in several years.
And the rest of that, more uplifting tale, can be found here.
First story: libraries don't matter. Our perfect villain.
Second story: libraries matter a lot. With lots of heroes.
The second one, of course, would be advocacy. (And thank you, Chris Michlewicz, for writing it!)