As We See It

What about books? Debate about Henderson libraries continues on Facebook

Two Henderson Library District branches will now close due to the measure’s failure.

Public libraries aren’t trendy, stylish, high-tech hangouts with 21st century gadgetry and greased-down supermodels with outrageous boob jobs offering you cocktails as you sit cozy in your nook, reading your little book that’s been handled by hundreds or maybe even thousands of readers who’ve come before you and dog-eared the pages.

No. That’s not a library. That’s the rest of the world coming at you full force from every multimedia platform, which, we might as well say, is why libraries are such a hard sell these days. It’s not just that the Internet has replaced the well-stocked book stacks when it comes to information, it’s that there’s no pulsating bass coming from a corner speaker, and no 24-hour news station blaring from TVs placed in every room. It’s hard to imagine what they’re thinking. Nobody can spend five minutes away from super-current information and product placements coming at them loudly and from every angle.

Voting against the Henderson libraries ballot measure this month—a tax initiative that would have cost property owners less than $14 a year—saved many people (including children) from using these sanctuaries of quietude and information known as the Galleria and Malcolm branches. The closing of libraries from slashed budgets and whatnot is championed by critics arguing that libraries tend to be smelly, publicly funded places where droll, bookish types quietly mill about, doing nothing to grow the brand. And libraries don’t bother to rake in new dollars by charging a lot of money for double-mocha soy lattes behind the checkout desk while playing a CD that happens to be on sale.

Something needs to give. “Libraries are Obsolete: An Oxford-style Debate” was held in April at Harvard, bringing the discussion out in the open with both sides giving their perspectives eloquently: “This traditional locus of modality is really obsolete” was rebutted by the fact that libraries have gone virtual and are increasing circulation in e-books.

Turns out folks in Nevada who can and can’t spell share similar sentiments by those in the debate at Harvard, and then some. Peppered with apathy and/or confusion and signs that people here might benefit from a library, here is a top 10 list of favorite Facebook comments (exactly as written) regarding the Henderson libraries and the ballot measure:

10) becuse they dont use them

9) People do use this libraries not people but mostly kids I can't believe this ! This is crap !

8) cut the crooked politicians pay i never hear this just tax you and cut everyones pay but theirs

7) That library sucks anyway ... keep the good ones open, that library is disgusting , smeel bad , carpet is gross is not even sanitary

6) don't really need libraries any more there like payphones!

5) Internet. Not very sanitary.

4)The Internet is better? At least more convenient? Library's are expensive?

3) Some day there is going to be a complete power failure thats going to last a lenghtly amout of time and you may see a need for those books.

2) Keep up the "good" work voting Nevada.....way to go on Slobama and other tree hugging guys really do get what you deserve when you concern yourselves with being PC instead of qualified candidates and topics......who cares about books for your kids....Obama will make sure if your daughters get pregnant he will give them an 18 yr ALL GOOD....SMH

1) Time changes, minds change, and books are now rare...its 2012

Tags: Culture
Photo of Kristen Peterson

Kristen Peterson

Get more Kristen Peterson

Previous Discussion:

  • “Compared to my Ohio life, people are more positive here, more responsive to literary things.”

  • “We break down all the barriers that led them to become homeless, so they can become self-sufficient and sustain on their own.”

  • "When someone who’s not used to looking at art is in a tour here at the Barrick and you see that light bulb go off, ...

  • Get More As We See It Stories
Top of Story