I thought about commenting on the post below, but this question deserves a post of its own. It looks like our library’s status is an issue that is going to stick around awhile. Libraries are closing everywhere, even in large metro areas like Chicago, Philadelphia and Charlotte (the first few that come up on a search).
It’s also a question that came up at the Duluth Chamber’s most recent “Forvm” event with city council candidates, and it led to some odd answers. One candidate said something like, “Absolutely we need to support our library.” I take that as meaning he thinks it’s essential. But then he went on, “I haven’t been there since college. It seems everything I need now is on the internet, but I was there all the time in college.”
Another one said something like, “Every modern city has to have a library.” I don’t think that’s a good answer either, and apparently there are some modern cities that think otherwise in this economy. It seems they all wanted to support it, but no one could really say why it’s essential. I think it’s somewhat safe to assume they don’t use it or it would have been an easy answer.
I talked to one of our area business leaders who thinks it’s more about providing access for those who don’t have internet. In answer to that, wouldn’t a progressive or “modern” city put the funding into a system that gives people that online access? Isn’t it about books anymore? Are there a lot of things at the library that can’t be found online? Do we know what percentage of our city population uses the services provided by the library?
I don’t know anything about this stuff. And I know lots of other people who don’t have any facts on the issue either – the reason for the post.
Perhaps some in the PDD community can provide solid reasons why our library is essential. With the issue coming before the council again on Monday, perhaps this can also serve as an opportunity to let our councilors know those reasons too. I know at least a few of them who check in here.
I haven’t been in the building since 2002, but certainly don’t mind supporting it if it’s truly for the greater good of our community. I love the new mural!
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