Archive for Thursday, October 5, 2006

Library defense

October 5, 2006


To the editor:

I read with interest Mark Hirschey's perspective on libraries and how he considers them limited and obsolete.

In my defense of libraries, I am not proposing that every city have a library like Topeka's, although that would be nice, but I disagree with Mr. Hirschey's recommendation that no money be spent on enhancing the local library.

I am speaking only from experience. I certainly haven't conducted a study of all libraries; however, I can attest to the fact that the Topeka library is always busy. It is difficult to get a parking space close to the front door! Children pour in there with parents and, yes, some are on computers, but many are in the reading rooms, study rooms, checking out books and videos. And, oh my gosh, some are actually carrying out armloads of books! Imagine!

For seniors, libraries offer programs, books and videos. I know people who can no longer afford to buy books and magazines so they depend solely on the library for their reading material.

There are many families who cannot afford computers so the computers are an important part of the library, as are the books, videos, programs, art, meeting rooms, speakers and events.

All of the above are benefits and amenities that one cannot find on the Internet. I am an avid user of my computer and the Internet, but I do love a library. So, Mr. Hirschey, I do think we can have the best of both worlds to enrich our lives.

Betty J. Simecka,



classclown 11 years ago

"It is difficult to get a parking space close to the front door!"


Something wrong with parking elsewhere in the parking lot? Oh that's right. You might have to WALK a few steps.

hodgie 11 years ago

Classclown, I think you're missing the point in this letter. Betty never says she minds parking far away, her point is that the parking lot is alway full, hence the library is being used by many people.

classclown 11 years ago

She never said she didn't mind. Only that she couldn't park next to the front door.

classclown 11 years ago

I'm doing nothing of the sort. I read the letter as written. You seem to be taking this rather personally.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

OK, she didn't say she minded. Nor did she say she didn't mind. She clearly intended us to interpret that the fullness of the parking lot indicates that Topeka's library is a well-used facility--not obsolete.

It's kind of how paragraphs are structured. They tend to have a thesis (the author's experience is that the Topeka Library is well-used) and then statements that support the thesis (many cars indicate use; the computers are busy; the rooms are in use; patrons borrow the physical resources).

classclown's implication that the author is lazy and complaining makes assumptions about her that cannot be inferred from the letter.

classclown 11 years ago

Did the letter state that it was difficult to find a parking space? Or that it was difficult to find one close to the door?

Saying that it is difficult to find a space near the door (as the letter stated) does not imply the parking lot is full, but rather that you have to park somewhere other than close to the door.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

Again classclown resorts to an attempt to deconstruct the author's letter so as to remove a statement from the context of its paragraph. The statement is clear in context. classclown appears to remove the context to impugn the author's character--an ad hominem attack that is well beneath classclown.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

Excellent! I am pleased, classclown, to read that you did not intend to attack the author as somehow lazy or unmotivated by writing "Something wrong with parking elsewhere in the parking lot? Oh that's right. You might have to WALK a few steps." Because, even were she lazy, that character flaw would in no way reduce how accurate or inaccurate her position is.

I apologize that I gave the impression of taking this so personally--but I know that you're above the level of petty nit-picking this appeared to be. I was simply disappointed in that behavior.

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