This is to strongly urge Lake Oswego voters to vote no on Measure No. 3-405 that authorizes a $14 million bond issue to partially pay for a new public library at the corner of Second Street and B Avenue in downtown Lake Oswego.

To borrow a remark from President (Bill) Clinton, “the era of big library is over.” The venerable Encyclopedia Brittanica plans to discontinue its print edition; the same for “Newsweek.” These are harbingers; likewise are the Kindle and its kin and now there are tablets designed for children.

What to do:

1. Let’s eliminate the DVD rentals. Home movie viewers have Netflix, Redbox, the Internet and cable TV. Why should Lake Oswego taxpayers subsidize these entertainment products that are available so inexpensively in the private sector. The same for the CD section. Aren’t many music lovers using portable music players? And let’s keep in mind the cost of managing these offerings. And why is the library offering Kindle readers loaded with several books for two-week checkout at no cost, except to LO taxpayers.

2. Maybe its time to eliminate free computer usage. I recently read that Comcast has or will soon offer a laptop for $150 and $10 Internet access for low-income citizens.

3. If after eliminating the DVD, CD and computer sections more floor space is needed, we can add a little by tossing past issues of magazines in the rear of the first floor. Or, could not space be added to the second floor building over a lane of the parking lot or is there a zoning problem? And, if more parking is desired, can’t the greenery between the lot and E Avenue be removed and replaced with parking slots?

Governments at all levels overspend. The spending has to slow down mightily or we are headed for troubled waters. Let’s start right here at home by not building a castle for the library empire builders. Again, vote no on Measure No. 3-405.

Joe Stern is a 22-year-resident of Lake Oswego.

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