Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Marti Emerald has a vision (“17 Million Drawing Board,” Randy Dotinga, June 12th) and I applaud her courage for standing up for Central when the naysayers will shout her down. Looking at the library system is like looking at the human body. The head is Central, while the branches are the arms and legs, and the staffing is the heart. You can’t have one without the other. If one breaks down, they all suffer. Choosing between Central and branches is the wrong choice. Pitting one library in one community against another isn’t the way to go. I hope Councilwoman Marti Emerald stays the course.

San Diegans have sunk so much moola into sports stadiums, the condo craze, and are ready to add debt for the probable convention center expansion. Libraries take the biggest hit in tough economic times when library services grow. Why hit the libraries so hard? Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks. “Because that’s where the money is.”

Libraries are run by librarians, stereotypically sweet, book-loving, and not willing to challenge their employers, the elected officials. So Central and branches don’t make money the way sports do, redevelopment does. A Central library will pay dividends one can’t measure in money. Marti Emerald is doing the right thing; she doesn’t stand alone.

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