Several friends and I have been discussing how wrong-headed we consider the closing of the Taos town library, how hurtful to what we believe of the very highest importance - the education and enlightenment of all citizens, and especially of our young.
Never have Americans more needed education that develops critical thinking, the ability to question nonsense and lies coming at us from even the highest levels of our society. To understand the basic elements of major problems such as climate change, loss of fellow species and ecosystems, what viruses and pandemics really are . . . to truly understand such complex problems we need as never before an informed and well-educated citizenry.
Libraries are critical elements of any culture's support of education, of both the young and of adult citizens attempting to keep abreast of critical issues and developments.
Wealthier persons can subscribe themselves to magazines, purchase books online instead of relying on the shelves of our library, options not open to many of lower incomes. Ditto the many of lesser means who regularly use the computers of our library since they can't afford one of their own. Our library's closing especially hurts the needy.
And it especially disadvantages young persons who need the books, magazines and computers of our library for research related to their course work.
A library is in truth a cultural necessity, a central keystone in any community's intellectual life. Basics of education should certainly not be among the first things a community cuts, for financial (as Rick Bellis maintained) or for any other reasons.
I strongly urge the city council to reconsider and immediately reopen the Taos town library - while taking necessary COVID-19 precautions, of course.
G. Frank Oatman lives in Arroyo Hondo.