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Posted: May 27, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Libraries integral to American life

Newton County Commissioners Mort Ewing and Nancy Schutz mis-spoke when referring to the library as an "entitlement."

The library is no more an "entitlement" than police, fire, ambulance, roads or recreational services. I am really surprised that anyone would call any of those services "entitlements."

As most of the rest of us learned in pubic school (another one of those "entitlements"), the purpose of government is to enable for everyone, "...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Not to do it for us but to enable us to do it. Here is how the library fits into that purpose:
Life. The library is where, particularly in changing economies, residents can learn new skills, develop plans for successful new small businesses, apply for jobs and training for jobs.

Newton County citizens can learn how to economize and better manage their resources in these hard times.
Liberty. The library is where our citizens can inform themselves about international, national, state and local issues. So they are an informed electorate come election time and can express opinions based on facts and not ideology about issues important to them.

An uninformed or apathetic electorate leads to government that benefits the few and not the many.

Pursuit of Happiness. The library is where many citizens find entertainment. Not just special programs, but in books, music, and other resources. Many of which would not be available to them but for the library.
The library is a place that sustains hopes, dreams and aspirations.

The library is part of the American dream of "...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
You know it; now tell others.

Patrick Durusau is a Covington resident whose columns run on Fridays.

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