Commentary: Why Carson doesn’t need a new library
October 4, 2012
What is a library? It is two things, a building and the content. A new, multi-million-dollar, taxpayer-funded building is proposed to house our content. Does Carson need a new building? No. We have numerous vacant and suitable buildings to house a library. They are easy to locate as many have a candidate’s signs on them. Repurpose them. Get them back to work.
Do we need a new library? Maybe, but not this one located out back of a casino in a high-crime area as the sheriff and a supervisor noted and as reported by this paper earlier this year.
Is the proposed library future-proof? No. Knowledge is now in the “cloud” and accessible anywhere, anytime, to anyone. Why deny knowledge to the elderly, disabled, shut-ins, and children without the means to go downtown. Look how the computer and the Internet have changed our lives the last 30 years. A traditional library is so yesterday. What will become of it in 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? A monument to archaic thinking?
Is the new library accessible? No. Content should be pushed to the consumer’s business, school, and home. Why are there no branch libraries here? Is it green? No. Tremendous amounts of fuel are wasted driving to a downtown building. Is it safe? As a former FBI agent, I know libraries, especially those downtown, are havens for pedophiles and predators. Want your 12-year old sitting next to a pervert surfing porn on the Internet? Want him/her “messaging” him outside of your supervision? Is it sanitary? No. Ever read a study about what is growing on public keyboards? Not pretty. Who will pay to clean, sanitize, and maintain hundreds of these terminals?
Can government-owned libraries control, promote, or restrict content as it suits its agenda? You bet. Scary? Absolutely. Who is Steve Neighbors? He seems to be the epicenter of this money grab and his website claims he “is presently driving the turnaround of an entire city.” I guess that’s us. Where would be without Saint Steve of the Nugget?
Are books obsolete? Of course not, and not for a long, long, time. Are traditional libraries? The one proposed is. We need a smaller centrally coordinated facility with the “hard” content strategically dispersed throughout our community where we live, work and play.
Don’t let others squander our resources and our nest eggs. Say “no” to big government, big labor, and big money. Haven’t they squeezed us enough? Say “no” to CC 1. Say “no” to new taxes that make us less competitive. Say “yes” to Dennis Johnson and Jim Shirk. Both are veterans of our Armed Forces. They know what it means to serve. They care about all of us.
• Richard Schneider is a Carson City resident and retired FBI agent.