Thursday, December 23, 2021

Reducing library hours


For the first time in my long career working in one pretty good American library, we are reducing our hours, just a little bit, closing at eight in the evening instead of at nine in the evening beginning in January. Why we are doing this is perhaps too complicated to answer to here because evil is always really hard to explain. Evil also can be really puny and boring, right up until it is suddenly... horrifying. 

We're just at the boring part here, which fairly speaking should maybe have a different word other than the supercharged "evil", maybe like "uvil", or... maybe not. But I did decide to make my little attempt to rail against this dark tide. I wrote the elected officials in charge of approving this reduction in library services.

I said:

Please don't be uvil and reduce the library hours.

One of these officials wrote back (though most didn't) and said (roughly):

I am not uvil! How dare you call me uvil. I have always done good. We are not reducing library hours! We are simply changing library hours to better serve the community, mostly for procedural reasons.

 You should be thankful it's not worse because we thought about that too.

I naturally had a long, complex, angry response to this.

But I wrote this instead:

Commissioner Xxxxxx,

Thank you so much for your response to my email.

Did you see that charming romantic comedy movie a couple years ago called "Long Shot"? The Seth Rogan character's small, muckraking newspaper gets bought out by a right-wing billionaire's media conglomerate, Seth Rogan quits in protest, and by oddest chance that night runs into the billionaire at a charity event.

Seth is at first polite, but then, impulsively, issues about three sentences of sharp, possibly rude criticism, before the billionaire dismisses him with an "Enough." and security steps in.

Seth Rogan says "I've already had more time with you than I thought I would have had."

Then he falls down a staircase.

It's a great movie. Charlize Theron is also excellent in it.

You can actually get a copy of it for free at a R...... County Library.

But, starting in January, not after eight o'clock.

Thank you for your time (it's more than I thought I would have had).



  1. Sorry to hear they've done this. It reminded me that I don't know whether the smaller branches (NSP, AH...) are even still open. Guess I'll take a look at the RCL website. Hang in there.

  2. In my opinion, the RCL website is NOT user-friendly!

    1. Hey, you have a picture!

      Small branches the same hours and open, main three branches closing an hour earlier Mon. through Thursday. In short: property tax levy increased and so then did the annual budget for the county. Library budget was nevertheless decreased.

  3. Sad, sad news. Hard to believe actually. But in this time of sad news, I guess it should not be a surprise. Still sad.

    1. Indeed sad. I am like you in not being surprised and yet part of me wants to always be surprised by every small wickedness of the world, and maybe by its good as well.


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