March 3, 2021. Words and Photos By Lucy Gellman- "Rasheem Dixon grew up with the Mitchell Library as his safe haven. He sees its potential closure in Mayor Justin Elicker’s proposed “Crisis Budget” as a crisis point itself. Dixon is one of thousands of New Haveners who have come to know the Mitchell Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library as a second home, after school refuge, zero-cost coworking space, storytime mecca, community connector, and life preserver. Wednesday, several spoke lovingly of its place in their lives, and their fear of losing it in this year’s budget negotiations. “You don’t shut down a library,” he said, looking up from a coffee at Pistachio Cafe. “You just don’t. Tell them to modify their salaries first and then see how they feel about it...” 

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