Letters To The Editor - Local leaders must resolve library issue

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As an American citizen, the conduct of our gridlocked Congress has me more than a little disgruntled. Partisan interests rule the day while the long-term interests of our country and the general electorate have been put on hold.

Our overheated Senators and members of the House of Representatives seem to have forgotten that an ability to compromise lies at the heart of a successful democracy.

Having attended a meeting of the Walla Walla Library Users Coalition Tuesday night, I find myself no less concerned over the actions of those attempting to solve our city and county library services issue.

From what I've read in the Union-Bulletin and heard at the meeting, the Rural Library District Board of Trustees is leaning toward its own full-service library facility. A couple of considerations ought to be obvious to those attempting to resolve this matter:

First, a county with a population of around 50,000 is unlikely to provide the resources needed to support two full-service libraries, nor should it have to do so. Funding the needs of one central library with a few strategically placed branch libraries will likely prove enough of a challenge.

Second, the ground is shifting underneath our feet as regards the services to be provided by libraries.

The Internet, Kindles and heaven only knows what else might be coming down the pike are already having a measurable effect on library usage. Funding for library services needs to reflect such change to avoid misdirecting or wasting valuable resources.

Those who remain skeptical need only look to the fate of leather harness manufacturers at the beginning of the last century when Ford's Model T's started hitting the road or, much more recently, the market for Kodak's 35mm film following introduction of digital cameras.

If those charged with the responsibility for sorting out the matter of providing appropriate library services are unable to come to a decision that responsibly meets the needs of library users in the city of Walla Walla and throughout the county, I respectfully request the County Commission and City Council members get involved and bring this matter to conclusion ... now would seem to be a good time!

Jay Grantier
Walla Walla

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