Closing state library is a travesty

Closing state library is a travesty
Rep. Ryan Olson, Sen. Bob Gray and Rep. Tim Rounds, scattering the great library book collection of the South Dakota State Library all over the state is a grave mistake.

Before "State Library Transitions," the Cultural Heritage Center and the state Library had been important duo research centers where writers, historians, students and ordinary citizens would visit archives and stacks of library books that have been collected by the state library since 1913.

I urge you to change your minds on this issue and help smoke the bills SB 210 and HB 1215 out of committees. Either of these bills would stop the breaking up and distribution of a great library book collection.

These books at the State Library were bought and paid for by the people of South Dakota as was the building with the intention that it be used as a library ��not an office space for government workers.

Metaphorically, what is happening to the South Dakota State Library is similar to the burning of the Library of Alexandria in ancient times.

There may even be similar political reasons behind this misguided transition.

If the dissolution of the state library is not stopped, this Legislature can claim they were custodians when South Dakota, for all practical purposes, lost its one-stop archive of knowledge available to the citizens of South Dakota, the state library.

Since 1913 the South Dakota State Library has been in existence and building one of the best sets of library book collections in the Midwest.

Years from now, our children and grandchildren will look back and this will have been the legislative session that allowed the Department of Education by executive decision to disassemble this great single archive of books in South Dakota and close the doors of the state library to ordinary citizens.

Anyone understands this ��a library without books is no longer a library.

If the transition goes through, whatever is left up there on the hill will be just another extension of state government with chairs and desks. Without books, it is not a library.

This is a travesty of historic proportions.

Help Rep. Van Norman, who understands this issue, save one of South Dakota's crown jewels, the South Dakota State Library.

My interest is broader than a local issue, but I can't understand why representatives from this area (Senate District 24 and Representative District 34) would support the closing of a great resource that draws people doing research to this area.

I attended the hearing in both the House and Senate and there was not any testimony that convinced me this was good for citizens of South Dakota. There were vague statements that people can get their books through local libraries. Anyone interested in books knows there is nothing like browsing a stack when you are not sure just exactly which book it is you would like.

Many areas of the state do not have a local library and what about access fees?

Please help Rep. Van Norman with this issue and at the very least, support stopping this process for a year while a legislative interim study looks into the impact closing the state library will have on the citizens of South Dakota.

Please help stop this nonsense before it is too late.

Jim Pollock is a resident of Pierre.

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