Well-known Paraparaumu Beach identity Ken Ash says the history of libraries stretches way back into antiquity — and they have been both revered and feared.
Revered by those thirsting for knowledge and feared by those wishing people to remain ignorant, he says.
‘This has led in the past to wholesale destruction of libraries, and infamous book burnings even into recent times.
‘;I am not for one moment suggesting that such an august body as the Kapiti Coast Council has such a motif in mind.
‘Though its decision to reduce the libraries budget to purchase books by almost fifty percent is still an attack on its function as a community source of information, intellectual stimulus and pleasure.
Digital media argument is spurious
‘The argument that this gap can be filled by the digital media is spurious.
‘This electronic substitute due to its business-friendly algorithms, tends more to reinforce prejudice rather than expand one’s views.
‘Recent research shows that books have not to any appreciable degree lost favour.
‘The tactile response aroused by handling a book is missing from that hard-glowing bit of plastic, even if it holds a multitude of titles.
Reading the Council claim
‘The council claims damage done to the Waikanae library due to poor maintenance has necessitated the funding cuts.
‘This is nonsense, building maintenance is an entirely different expenditure issue. In any case, why should such an important asset be compromised due to such poor governance.
‘It sometimes seems quality governance is inversely proportional to the executive salaries.
‘This poorly conceived decision is counter to community needs and should be rescinded.’