Monday, July 25, 2005

The Relevance of Libraries - The Young'uns - Other Stuff

I've been thinking about the relevance of libraries. Indeed, when was the last time you took the time to travel to the library for information, data, background that can be easily gleaned from search engines on the internet?

Every morning Sweet Melissa and I visit a park in which sits a branch of the Denver Public Library. And, each morning, we see folks slipping DVDs into the steel slot next the the library's door. Has the library become primarily a place where DVDs can be checked out; where movies that otherwise could be rented from Blockbuster are checked out for free on someone's library card?

I do understand the relevance of libraries with regard to historically relevant materials that are not in books but in collections that must be safeguarded and handled with care.

But, really, are libraries, "probably the only secular gathering place in the community," as the linked article claims?

I suppose I'm a little confused about the use of the word "secular" by this guy, Michael Gorman, who is the president of the American Library Association. This particular choice of words tends to imply that the only other "...gathering places..." for Americans are religious edifices.

But, then, such is the polemic today. Religious fundamentalism has permeated not only American politics but the skewed insights of the American Library Association, as well.
I am wondering where the young'uns are with regard to Dubya's war "...that never ends..." in Iraq. I listen daily to John Fogerty's (on my iPod shuffle as I run my two miles) "Deja Vu (All Over Again)," every morning: Day after day another Momma's crying
She's lost her precious child
To a war that has no end
and, I guess I'm wondering where the spirit, the energy, the altruism, the idealism of the young'uns is. Where are they? Why are they not in the streets questioning a war predicated on lies and deceit? Was my generation so different from today's generation of young people that we simply should not expect today's youth to question authority; to be able see the "...writing on the wall..." that seemed to be so clear, so undeniably clear to my generation?
The other stuff I'm thinking about today has more to do with Denver's Mayor John Hickenlooper and his ten-year plan to end homelessness in Denver. It would only cost $1.3 Million a year and I guess that us property owners might be taking on that burden through a mill levy increase.
I read somewhere that pretty much every Democratic mayor in the country is touting this "house the homeless" plan on a ten-year basis as suggested by Dubya's Czar of the homeless. However, I've also read that it takes about $125,000 a year a house one homeless person. Make sense? Hmmm... I'm thinking there's are little bit more to the story than meets the eye. Sure, noble ideals from ol' Hick, but, Jesus, $125,000 a year? And, ultimately, at my expense. Ummm... Let's think about this one a little bit more. Shall we!

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