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.

(2) comments

Kent Misegades

Libraries are rapidly becoming obsolete, like passenger train, which belong in amusement parks and museums. Why not privatize libraries? We’ll see quickly if citizens value them. They cost us taxpayers money anyway whether we use them or not. There should be no sacred cows when it comes to taxpayer-funded things. My wife and own seceral thousand books and read them all. We love wandering through good libraries. But we wouldn’t mind at all paying directly for the use as opposed to being taxed for a public library that is used to display children’s books promoting gay marriage, as the SP library does each summer. Disgraceful. .

Conrad Meyer

Seems to me that you are talking about two totally different things. A library which I envision has access to printed material both hard copies and electronic versions. The second is a meeting place where people will meet.

I think Mr. Dempsey has it right on the library part - Pinehurst ought to take him up on his offer. Pinehurst then needs to figure out how to meet the needs of people to meet.

One option might be to have a shuttle bus from the village to the SCC campus. Pinehurst could afford this easily, especially if an addition to the existing library could be avoided.

Lastly, I am afraid after spending many hours buried in the stacks over my lifetime, the traditional library is becoming a dinosaur as it morphs into a more virtual resource.

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