There have been several comment posted saying that Encinitas doesn't need a public library anymore because the internet has made libraries in general archaic. I think this is a dangerous opinion.
I subscribe to the theory that once we use the internet as an excuse to stop building public libraries it will mean a breakdown of democracy.
Not everyone can afford a computer. People who pay for internet access don't always know how to seek the information they want. Google is powerful but your local librarian, a walking talking breathing person you can talk to, is your real link to knowledge.
The new Encinitas library was apparently designed without any regard to construction cost which I view as a colossal failure of the architect and not just the people who approved the design. A simple streamlined less is more design would be more appropriate. Less bling for the building outside and more resources inside.
It's a shame that the high cost of construction and materials is causing people in this town to turn their anger onto the institution of public libraries. Instead be anger that our library was torn down without any real leadership or plan to rebuild.
The Wikipedia entry for libraries (yes, I'm aware of the irony here) link,
In the traditional sense of the word, a library is a collection of books and periodicals. It can refer to an individual's private collection, but more often it is a large collection that is funded and maintained by a city or institution. This collection is often used by people who choose not to--or cannot afford to--purchase an extensive collection themselves. However, with the collection or invention of media other than books for storing information, many libraries are now also repositories and access points for maps, prints or other artwork, microfilm, microfiche, audio tapes, CDs, LPs, video tapes and DVDs, and provide public facilities to access CD-ROM databases and the Internet.
Thus, modern libraries are increasingly being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources. More recently, libraries are understood as extending beyond the physical walls of a building, providing assistance in navigating and analyzing tremendous amounts of knowledge with a variety of digital tools.
People keep saying that Encinitas doesn't need a library because Cardiff has one. That is a decent argument. People keep saying that Encinitas doesn't need a library because Carlsbad has one close by. This is terrible. We have all these developers saying Encinitas needs to be more like Carlsbad (meaning massive urban sprawl) but at the same time we should just gravy train their library?
Speaking of the Carlsbad library, have you seen the cars in the parking lot? I'm confident that all those people can afford computers and internet access.
Google vs the public library.
"The only people that think the internet makes libraries obsolete must not know how to use the library." Quote from a teacher friend of mine, "Students that don't use the library, and Google instead, turn in the worst reports as a rule over the last few years. Those reports are often shallow like a lot of the fluff on the internet. The internet provides the literary research equivalent of sound bites. Information is organized by subject in the library and not ranked by search engines. Sometime this is good sometimes this is bad. We need both."
Quote from a researcher friend of mine, "I don't know anyone looking for a faculty position at a university that would work someplace without a library, even if they get a high speed connection to the internet."
Founding father Ben Franklin is credited with creating our first public library, the Library Company. Franklin felt that "these Libraries have improved the general Conversation of Americans, made the common Tradesman and Farmers as intelligent as most Gentlemen from other Countries, and perhaps have contributed in some Degree to the Stand so generally made throughout the Colonies in Defence of their Privileges."
Without a library Encinitas is just a yuppie slum filled with slack jawed yokels wandering the aisles of the Ecke Ranch Barnes&Noble, our mouths agape waiting for our Starbucks order to come up.
Why do you hate Ben Franklin so much?