Li­brary es­sen­tial to county econ­omy

The Covington News - - Opinion - PA­TRICK DU­RUSAU COLUM­NIST Pa­trick Du­rusau is pres­i­dent of Friends of the Li­brary.

Elected of­fi­cials and would-be elected of­fi­cials like to march in pa­rades.

At the Fourth of July pa­rade in Ox­ford, a shout of “Save the li­brary” rang out.

A lo­cal politi­cian looked around for the caller and asked, “Why?”

For the ben­e­fit of elected and would-be elected of­fi­cials, here are five rea­sons why we should save the li­brary:

No. 1: One of the places on the Cham­ber of Com­merce vis­it­ing list for prospec­tive busi­nesses (read em­ploy­ers) is the New­ton County Li­brary. Busi­nesses know that to at­tract good em­ploy­ees, good schools and li­braries are a must.

No. 2: Small busi­nesses can’t main­tain all the busi­ness, man­age­ment, fi­nance and skill ma­teri- als that they need to be suc­cess­ful busi­nesses. The li­brary is a first re­spon­der to the in­for­ma­tion needs of small busi­nesses.

No. 3: In case any­one hasn’t no­ticed, the econ­omy is chang­ing, from un­skilled ser­vice type jobs to ones that re­quire skills, par­tic­u­larly those in­volv­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and the In­ter­net. The li­brary is a venue to ac­quire those skills.

“ Pub­lic and pri­vate schools rely on the New­ton County Li­brary as par of their plans to ed­u­cate our chil­dren."

No. 4: An uneducated pop­u­la­tion means low pay­ing, low skill jobs. Pub­lic and pri­vate schools rely upon the li­brary as part of their plans to ed­u­cate our chil­dren. An ed­u­cated pop­u­la­tion will mean higher pay­ing jobs, a bet­ter tax base as well as more op­por­tu­ni­ties for new busi­nesses.

No. 5: Il­lit­er­acy is the sin­gle most com­mon trait of peo­ple in prison.

And crime is a rea­son why busi­nesses (read em­ploy­ers) don't want to lo­cate in par­tic­u­lar ar­eas. We can ei­ther sup­port schools and li­braries now, or pris­ons later.

Li­braries, schools, re­cre­ation, even gov­ern­ment are nec­es­sary for “job cre­ators” to cre­ate jobs. What part of that is un­clear?

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