Our View: Vote ‘no’ on library bond

Jun 12 2013 - 3:22pm

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Brick and mortar
Brick and mortar

The Standard-Examiner urges a "no" vote on a $45 million bond for the Weber County Library System. Once the bond is defeated, efforts should begin to pass a bond that would allocate money to repair the main library in Ogden.

That effort requires $16.8 million, and that would be money well spent. Repair the main library, fix its problems. That need is critical. However, the rest of the proposed bond, which includes $23 million to build a new library in Roy, strikes us as accomplishing little other than accumulating bigger spaces. Spending so much money on this bond is a proposal based in the past, which emphasizes brick and mortar.

A library needs to serve its core mission, which is to provide information to folks in the most convenient manner. Over the next generation, we don't believe having bigger buildings -- closer to patrons -- is what will define customer service for libraries. We are in the middle of an information technology age. In the next generation -- 20 years -- the library system will see changes that may surprise us today. We don't want the Weber County Library system locked into a long-term expensive vision that's rooted in the past.

The bond's cost breaks down to $2.63 per month for a $161,000 home and $4.77 a month for a business property valued the same. The price is not our primary objection to the bond, however. As mentioned, $16.8 million to fix the main library is merited. But the rest of the bond's plan is rooted in bigger buildings, rather than on our library's main focus, which is providing information effectively.

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