Easier To Get A Basketball Than A Book

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A buddy sent me this.  I forward it, unedited:

“Here in a nutshell is what’s wrong with this nation:

Roseville Library

Mon-Thu10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri-Sat10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun12 – 5 p.m.

Closed – Thursday, January 1, 2015
Closed – Monday, January 19, 2015
Closed – Monday, February 16, 2015
Closed – Sunday, April 5, 2015
Closed – Monday, April 20, 2015
Closed – Monday, May 25, 2015
Closed – Saturday, July 4, 2015
Closed – Monday, September 7, 2015
New Brighton Library will be closed Sept 7-11 for Community Center maintenance!
Closed – Monday, October 12, 2015
Closed – Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Closed – Thursday, November 26, 2015
Open – Friday, November 27, 2015
Closed – Thursday, December 24, 2015
Closed – Friday, December 25, 2015
Open – Thursday, December 31, 2015 until 5 p.m.
Alert – New Brighton Library will close at 4 p.m. on December 31, 2015
Closed – Friday, January 1, 2016


The library is closed pretty much all hours and days that any working person could get there.  Closed at 5 on Friday and Saturday.  Opens at noon on Sunday, for 5 hours.  When I had the kids for the weekends I could get there only if we made a special day of it, couldn’t do anything else around getting to the library.  We could just barely get there on Sunday if we ate early then got on the road right after to make it to the hostage exchange on time.   Roseville is the busiest library in the entire system, hence it has the longest hours.  The others are far worse.

Books bad, basketball good.


Rec centers:

MondayFriday – 6:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturday – 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m
Sunday – 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

All sites are CLOSED for the following major holidays:

Thursday, November 26 – Thanksgiving Day
Friday, December 25 – Christmas Day
Friday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day


So the library, where books are, is closed on any holiday, real or imagined, on weekend evenings, most of the day on Sunday, etc.  Where as the rec center is open nearly all the time, and the feds want to spend money keeping them open at midnight for basketball.

Joe Doakes

Back when the GOP controlled the Legislature, the DFL used to whinge “they want to close the libraries!”.  I used to ask “What?  They’re open?”

The library in my neighborhood – a neglected old place that’s perpetually on the city’s chopping block, and hasn’t nearly the hours that the huge Roseville library has – seems to be open at times most convenient to…library staffers.  Not school kids, much less working adults.

And don’t get me started on the fact that the new Roseville “library” seems to allot about 20% of its space to…books.

But maybe that’s what the President means when he prattles about guns being easier to get than books; he’s referring to guns and books owned by government.  You can’t get to a book during hours any working person could get there – but the Department of Justice will give you a gun – if you’re a narcotraficante.

5 thoughts on “Easier To Get A Basketball Than A Book

  1. It just happens I’m in the final throes of getting my Library & Information Science degree, and can speak with a degree of dismay. Because dismay is what all librarians are feeling today, whatever they pretend. When asked the question, “What do public libraries do nowadays that a community center doesn’t do just as well?” they will be stumped for a while. Finally they will answer something like, “Well, we have trained professionals here to help you find information, if you’re unfamiliar with Google. Also, if not for us, where would homeless people get porn?”

  2. I dunno — we use the Roseville library all the time and we’re able to make it work. The library in New Brighton is small and is housed in the Community Center, so they are at the mercy of their landlord, as the schedule in your post indicates. We don’t use it very often.

    Mrs. D works at a large library in the HennCo system and she could tell you some stories about the challenges they have there. They run lean on staffing — they’ve had significant attrition and have probably half the staff they had a decade ago.

    I don’t think, based on what we see, that the issue is with the libraries as much as it is with the county boards.

  3. I don’t think my buddy was ripping on librarians, at least that’s not how I interpreted it. I think he was upset that the Liberals who control public policy decisions choose the simplest and most racist solutions.

    There’s high crime in Black neighborhoods because Black youth have nothing to do. But rather than keep the libraries open longer where they might learn something useful, we keep the rec center open longer so they can play buckets.

    The mind might be a terrible thing to waste but we’ll never know, we’re too busy feeding a basketball jones. Why is that? Because it’s one of the soft bigotries of low expectations?

    And since we’ve decided to invest in rec centers as babysitters, we can’t afford to staff libraries as educational centers. The simple solution masks the original problem while creating another – a doubleplus ungood result.

  4. And since we’ve decided to invest in rec centers as babysitters, we can’t afford to staff libraries as educational centers. The simple solution masks the original problem while creating another – a doubleplus ungood result.

    Yep — agree with that completely, Joe. And that’s why I’m pointing the finger at the county boards — aside from the Met Council, county-level government is the most obscure and unaccountable part of local governance, even though they control a lot of money and resources. You will see people get in the face of the city mayors and sometimes the governor, but I’ve never heard of anyone protesting the decisions the RamCo board makes. I would wager that 90% of the people who live in Ramsey County could not pick their commissioner out of a police lineup.

  5. My kids have learned that the good books in a lot of libraries are downstairs waiting to be sold because no one will check them out. So it’s a problem with the government, sure, but also with our culture that nobody wants good books anymore.

    The blessing is that we’ve got pretty much half a bookshelf of books that the libraries didn’t want to keep. The bummer is that you’ve got to dig way past the mediocre movies in the AV displays to get to them.

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