Library funding is overdue
March 28, 2002
We’d like to raise our hand to get the attention of the Carson City Board of Supervisors on the issue of library funding.
We understand money is tight. We understand the pressure of having sincere department managers vie for the limited funds available. We understand the frustration of never quite having enough to go around.
We understand because that’s how private businesses operate nearly every year. What we don’t understand is how the board can possibly think that handing the public information team 10 grand more than the 20 grand they requested is the right value judgment.
Supervisor Jon Plank said the information team needs more money for video so that public doesn’t have to rely on the print media “Ewhich tells the story the way they see it.” It sounds like a compliment to us, but that small voice in the back of our experienced heads tells us it isn’t.
Elected and public officials complain of media bias the world over. They complain that we aren’t team players — that our lack of understanding of their point of view causes us to somehow get the story wrong.
They’re right about the team player accusation. We aren’t and never will be. We exist in some part to watch public spending and hold officials accountable. We aren’t the mouthpiece of the establishment. We try sincerely to get the story right and to give our readers credit for their ability to make up their own minds. We print our phone numbers in the papers every single day and hereby publicly plead with public officials to call us if we don’t get something factually correct.
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Ah, we digress as a way to provide a little context for our library argument.
Director Sally Edwards must be shaking her head at how the supervisors handed the public information folks $10,000 more than they requested. She has library users waiting outside for the doors to open and no one to open the doors, while the supervisors chose to get more time in front of the camera.
The supervisors should rethink their priorities before it’s too late. Library lovers everywhere should finish their supper early on Thursday to attend the supervisor meeting to remind their elected officials that good libraries are more important to community life than good PR.