Attack of the Disaffected

Except rarely, the people who habituate website comment sections are the most disaffected and angry in the “community”, taken to mean a loose accumulation of people surrounding an idea, issue, or geographic area. So, normally I wouldn’t spend a second on the handful of comments on a Daily Camera¬† article pertaining to the Boulder Public Library, an issue I care greatly about, but in the case the comments are revealing in a way their authors surely don’t intend.

The article lists some newyl funded maintenance plans for the main branch, plans that are only news because they have now been funded after waiting in line for several years, but the comments reveal that there is a perception that the library’s main use is as a day shelter for Boulder’s homeless population. The apparently homeless certainly do frequent the library and their presence doubtless keeps others away, but others (homefull? homed?) predominate. But the perception is real (although wrong, at least so far), library support is a political matter, and in politics, perception is everything.

If the conventional thinking ever becomes that libray funding is charity for the poor and indigent rather than an integral part of the social/intellectual/cultural life of the municipality, then it will just be a matter of time, and probably a short time, before we decide to lock the doors and find another use for the land–more million-dollar condos maybe.

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