In a recent letter on this page, SCC President John Dempsey proffered a generous suggestion to the village of Pinehurst as it wrestles with its future library situation.
Instead of building and staffing a new library, Dempsey suggested, village residents can instead use the college’s Boyd Library — permission they and other local residents already have — and forgo a multimillion-dollar capital project.
“Cost to the village: zero. That’s no construction cost, no collection cost and no operational costs (unless we get overwhelmed by Pinehurstians and need to add a new librarian),” Dempsey wrote. “Best of all, we have a warm and welcoming staff and plenty of parking, now that many of our students are learning online.”
The kindness of this gesture cannot be overstated. The college library, indeed, is an excellent resource for the community.
But while Dempsey’s idea is fine as a “bridge” opportunity, the village should not give up building a library within, or near, the village center.
A library is part of a municipality’s beating heart, a place where civic life grows. The current Given Memorial Library has shown what a communal gathering spot a library can be. Village residents deserve a library they can walk or bike to, or jump in the golf cart and zip off. SCC’s library may fit the bill but it doesn’t fill the soul.