One of the hot topics these days is the city's opposition to the Chargers' proposal for a new stadium. For the most part, I am in favor of getting something worked out, because I think getting a new stadium built will benefit the city financially for years to come. But San Diego is a city in fiscal disarray, so getting something hammered out will not be easy. Some folk, though, think it's simply a matter of reallocating resources. One guy crossed the line when he declared that he couldn't understand why the city felt the need to increase its library budget; libraries, he feels, are relics of the past.
What can you find in a library that you can't simply Google, he asked. I pointed out that libraries have honest-to-goodness books you can hold in your hand and not have to purchase. They have artefacts, collectibles … more than just books.
He responded by asking when the last time I'd gone to the library was. Well, he had me: it's been about a year, when I needed something that wasn't available in bookstores or online. But I prefer to own books, and I own so many I won't get around to reading for a long time. I pointed out that many of my friends go to the library on a weekly basis. We're voracious readers, and we simply can't afford (or don't want to) spend our meager resources buying books. Others have chimed in. One guy said he just finished the last of three books he checked out from the library over the holidays and pointed out that libraries offer many services, besides its collections, that are valuable to the community. One lady threatened to check out a copy of Pride and Prejudice to read aloud at the next tailgate.
It's good to see my fellow fans belie the stereotype and come to the defense of public libraries!