Editorial: Libraries are community places

Sooke spends a lot of money to maintain very small library

Are libraries still being used? Have they become redundant in the face of Kindle and the Internet? Are they dinosaurs in this world of instant gratification? Have they played out their useful role?

At one time libraries were the only place to get reference materials and were places for research and contemplation. Is that still the case? Highly unlikely, but they are places where people of all ages gather to borrow books, use Internet services and take part in reading programs. They are places of higher learning really.

Not everyone can afford to purchase books and borrowing them is an excellent way to reduce consumerism. Libraries are still important but they are costly. Sooke pays a lot for the services, close to a half million dollars a year and climbing. Our local library is small, it’s not grandiose or modern but we pay a lot for it.

Perhaps we should move it to the old JdF building once they relocate to their new building.

It appears the Vancouver Island Regional Library Board is our “higher” authority and we don’t really have any say as to what we want or need. This is unacceptable. It is the Sooke taxpayers, and other communities as well, who pay for what we have. They have a grand edifice to house themselves and we are stuck with an old building with no room to grow. Is this right? Somehow, the district should have some say as we are the ones paying their bills.

When “big brother” thinks they know what is best for a community, then we lose our ability and decision making powers to decide what is best for ourselves. Mayor Milne and council need to stick to their guns and, if we want a new library, to let the VIRL know in no uncertain terms that we decide not them what is best for Sooke taxpayers.

“Next to acquiring good friends, the best acquisition is that of good books.”  Colton