History, politics, people of Oly WA

Month: January 2007 (Page 3 of 3)

Don’t tread on Brian Baird

There is going to be a peace march on January 27 in Olympia, and some folks involved in the planning want to make a short detour and involved Rep. Brian Baird’s Olympia office. That Baird has voted for funding the Iraq War after voting against authorizing it seems to be the issue.

Protesting in front of, inside of, or occupying the office of Rep. Baird is a bad idea. Its about as a bad idea as I’ve ever heard.

I’m convinced the only reason its being considered is because his office is directly on the parade route. Had the parade gone a different direction or had Baird’s office been up on the west side or even down on Plum St., no one would be talking about involving his office in the protest.

Baird is a target of convenience, not conscious.

Baird voted no on authorizing the war.

It is also bad politics. The WSDCC is also meeting in Olympia that day (several of the members are taking time out of the meetings to participate in the march) and several local Dems are helping organize the march. Including a protest of a Democratic elected official, you put the Dems, at least in Thurston County, in a bad place.

Apparently, the desire to include Baird’s Olympia office in the protest is coming from the national level of one of the organizations that is also helping put together the march. This just may be an example of something that may seem like a good idea thousands of miles away, but when you look at it close up, isn’t that good of an idea at all.

There will be a meeting on Monday where this will all be hashed out, hopefully in favor of not treading on Brian.

“Libraries aren’t quiet anymore”

Seattle Times:

“Libraries aren’t quiet anymore,” said Chapple Langemack, managing librarian at the Bellevue library.

Indeed, today’s libraries are morphing into the new town halls. It’s a change spurred by technology and the need to stay relevant.

The King County Library System and Seattle Public Library are embracing this change and pursuing, within most of their branches, the “Third Place” concept — an idea that people like to hang out at a location other than work or home.

Its almost a mistake of history that libraries ever became about “books on shelves.” Libraries in America came about in the early 1800s when books were the most important way of conveying information, while at the same time being mostly unavailable to most Americans. In the interest of democracy and an informed citizenry, libraries were established.

So, libraries were about books only in that books led to a healthy community. Now, it is about more than books. So now, a libraries role as a “Third Place” is just as important as the availability of books.

This sort of thinking is what I’m hoping comes out of the conversations I’ve been having with my local branch library and the Friends group.

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