Why libraries still really do matter

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Then, from behind the desk lamp in front of me, I heard, “Hey, Scott.” It was Richard Kessel, former chairman of the Long Island Power Authority, who lives in Merrick. Like so many of us, he had lost power and had come to the library to work. We chatted in hushed voices for a few minutes, exchanging storm stories, and then went back to our business, each of us writing in notebooks by hand.

With all of the chaos that Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath brought, it was comforting to speak with a sympathetic soul, if only for a short while. With my cell phone fully charged, I returned to the world, in search of gasoline for my rented Jeep. (My wife and I lost both of our cars in the storm.)

Whenever I hear talk about closing libraries to save money — taxpayer dollars –– I cringe. We all should.

Scott Brinton is senior editor of the Bellmore and Merrick Heralds and an adjunct professor at the Hofstra University Graduate Journalism Program. Comments? SBrinton@liherald.com or (516) 569-4000 ext. 203. Brinton’s profile and posts can be found at facebook.com/scottabrinton.

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