This is the best argument for public libraries I have seen in a long time:
It’s true that you can’t use volunteers to manage a large library that serves the diversifying media needs of every imaginable customer in the year 2011, but not every cluster of shacks on some windblown sheepfold can expect to have a library like that, and to lack one is not a misfortune if your foremost concern is with reading...What’s needed by the reader, as such, is a lot of books, selected and organized with a modicum of intelligence, and the free run of them. Everything else is detail.I can only add that it is important that libraries be open a sufficient number of hours to allow the readers to visit them at their own convenience, not that of the library staff..
Now all my library friends are very unhappy with the cuts in library service in New Jersey under Chris Christie. They should know that the decision to cut back library hours is made at the local level and designed to inconvenience the taxpayer to the max, while preserving necessities such as no show jobs for no-account relatives or giving no-bid contracts to friends.