Library Logic Lost Leader
Edit: For those who may not have read the article, it is located here. - HH
No doubt, Scott Hayes’s comments in May 6th Gazette is very well composed with professional writing skills. But pardon me for being blunt; good technical skills in writing cannot trump logic in claiming right reason. The article exposes mayor shortfalls in his thinking principally in areas of purpose, need and economics. I consider his comments as a “Lost Leader” swaying us off course to Lala Land. It should be filed under “Mystical Wishful Thinking” or “Fantasy Dreams”.
Here are some reasons why:
(1) In terms of purpose:
(a) He is mistaken in stating that libraries are Community Building Blocks (CBBs). Wikipedia disagrees with him: “A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both”. Granted, libraries may serve as a CBB, but that’s not their purpose. Churches, sports fields, hockey rinks, swimming pools, community halls, volunteer opportunities, etc. are far better CBBs and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
(b) He goes on to list several purposes other than “books”; a whole host of other services and activities that really have no place in a library, but rather in a Community Hall. Forget a branch library; build another Community Hall if need be; and while you are at it, do something about the muddy parking lot at the current Perron St. location.
(2) In terms of need and economics, he has not considered the absolute waste of money, vis-a-vis other projects that are more urgently needed AND are better Community Building Blocks.
(a) You can go to any of our swimming pools or skating rinks and there is always overcrowding – very high public demand and leaving many residents frustrated in long wait periods. Compare this with the very low traffic at the library. You can go to the library any hour of any day of the week, shoot a cannonball down any corridor you choose, and you will not hurt anyone.
(b) You can access anything you so wish, from a library online – no need for a physical building. You can also surf on the internet, but you cannot swim on the internet; you have to have a physical pool for that.
(c) Every school in our city is furnished with a very well stocked library. Everyone from Grade 1 to 12 already have free and easy access; schools, by-the-way, are excellent CBBs.
(d) The Library’s justification of “current design is for 50,000 residents whereas our population is 65,000”, I believe is dishonest. That figure was determined before the internet existed.
Let us halt this madness of wasteful spending; we are sick of it. With all this excessive waste of our money and high taxes, Project 9 may already have exceeded its design capacity.
Wasting other people’s money may not be a crime, but it is no different morally than theft.