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Huckleberries Online

Thu., May 18, 2006, 9:19 a.m.

Mailbag: Is A Spiffy Library A Need Or A Want?

Eric Seaman: This library thing is like a spoiled kid not getting what they want. A rich spoiled kid. I know it not because I'm rich, because I'm not,but because I do spoil my children. Lets look at a parent, a regular CDA low paying job parent, who's child wants that new game system for their birthday that costs $200 and you agree and promise them, but when you get to the day it seems the child changed their mind and really, really, really, wants a different game system but, this one is $400. Hmmmm what to do? I suppose if your well off you simply bump it up. If not, you love and build that childs understanding of responibility.
Or I suppose you could go into the families secret savings account and hope your water pump doesn't break, or the washing machine continues to limp along.

DFO: I've thought about this one a lot. I don't think the location picked for the library is the best possible, locationwise. I wrote years ago, however, that supporters could build their structure anywhere they want as long as they financed it themselves. Now, we've passed a $3M bond and just pumped another $300,000 into it. I guess I'm to the point that we're too committed not to go ahead and finish this project correctly. I also believe a nice library is more of a need than a want, part of the city's intellectual infrastructure. We've been bumping along with refurbished buildings since I got here. I remember new Mayor Ray Stone dedicating the old LP building on Harrison for the man that made the opening possible, Mayor Jim Fromm. And Fromm checking out the first book in the new library, Garrison Keillor's "Lake Wobegone Days." Bottom line? The library will continue to spur downtown redevelopment. It will become a source of pride. The City Council did right by tossing in the extra $300,000. And I thank everyone who made it possible through his/her fund-raising efforts. It hasn't been pretty. Rugs have been pulled over people's eyes. But that'll be forgotten by most when the doors open.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.