THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.
To the Editor. Sir, —I think that such recriminations as at present are being carried on in connection with the selection of a site for the _ , new Library buildings, are not much to the credit of those concerned therein, and it is very evident that the sooner we get a r on the way, in order that they - may learn from its volumes what common courtesy means the better. That our City Fathers, who are renowned for their wisdom, should have made such an exhibition of themselves, is, I think, sad ; and that those who profess to be somewhat leaders of public opinion, should, because one person agrees to differ from another, I or even from the opinions of the majority, especially when that majority has nothing to do with the matter, be called “ pigheaded,” is, I think, hard on a man when he has no piggish' nature or tendencies within him, and also very uncomplimentary and libellous on the pig himself, for who does not like good “Bacon?” Now, as far as 1 can see, the Library Committee - are not at all to blame for deciding to build on the old site, but the blame, if any, rests with an apathetic public, and especially with those who have sought to put their fingers into the pie in an improper manner. As far I understand the constitution o' the Library, the committee are not answerable to the public, nor even to the Borough Council. They have evidently only to do with subscribers whose wishes they have to carry out, and to whom they have to give an account. Now, why these gentlemen should be abased for doing their duty, I fail to see, or why they should listen to any advice from without, • unless tendered in a proper and courteous manner, is, I think, out of the question altogether. Common sense would dictate . otherwise. Now, by all means let us have ’ a central site for our Library ; let us have Baring square east, as it is, without ! doubt, the best possible site in Ashburton, and I think it will be a pity if it is not chosen for the purpose. But let us, as [ outsiders, goes about it in the proper manner. The Library Committee have no ; right to be dictated to, not even by a deputation from that model of perfection, 'the Borough Council; neither do I think it was courtesy on their part to go outoutside and collect information and obtain an expression of opinion from those who have nothing to do with the matter, before consulting the Library Committee. . Now, it is very evident that those who want a say, and especially an energetic one—in the selection of a site, will have to become subscribers first. Bat whether or not Baring square is to be utilised for the purpose is a matter for the ratepayers •to decide. But even this will be no use, and it will be a waste of money to call a ■ public meeting to discuss the question, unless the majority of subscribers, and the Library Committee are in favor thereof. For he it known, that not even the Borough Council—even suppose they put on their best clothes—nor the Fire Brigade east, nor the Fire Brigade west, nor the Inspector of Nuisances, nor even “ Hugo ” himself can make them build thereon, if they refuse to do so. The mark has evidently been overshot, and the Borough Council should set about undoing what they have done, and not waste public funds in calling useless meetings, apd as guardians of the public good, hold a conference with the Library Committee .first, in a proper manner, and get them to refer the matter to a meeting of subscribers. Then the questions could be properly discussed and a site decided upon in an agreeable manner.—l am, &c., Outsider.
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THE PUBLIC LIBRARY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 627, 4 May 1882
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 627, 4 May 1882
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