With state and municipal budgets being cut across the nation, many are trying to come up with ways to make ends meet.

Newport Beach, Calif., has found what is perhaps the most novel idea. It’s thinking about removing the books from one of its library branches. As one of many options for reorganizing its library system, the City Council proposed removing the books from the least active branch library, Balboa Branch. According to the library’s records it is underutilized (in proportion to its cost).

While you’re busy lighting the torches, let me say that I think this is an idea worth exploring. A library is more than just a place to house books; it’s also a community center, and a source of free internet access, DVDs, CDs, and other media. It’s time to explore the possibility.

Admittedly, a library without books is a community center. But if that serves the needs of the town better, then why not do it?

City of Newport Beach

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