If I grasp the historic and generational dynamics correctly, all of our public institutions are being "re-valued." That may sound impressive, but all it means is that society is taking a look at institutions that were unquestioned goods to a previous generation, to see if they still "work."
My daughter Maddy and her best friend, Andee, are 9 years old. They like to read, which certainly pleases me. Mostly, they like Nancy Drew stories.
Here I confess something I would never have admitted were it not for the courageous example of Phil, Andee's dad. Yes, I have picked up the occasional Nancy Drew story myself.
I think of myself as a patient man. For the past five years, the Douglas Public Library District has quietly gone about connecting itself to the Internet, designing web pages, developing useful local information, securing access to public and private databases, and budgeting the resources to keep it all working.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, independent booksellers are facing some big challenges, chiefly the aggressive expansion of big retail bookstores. But recently, I've talked to several people who have predicted to me that while such expansions make money now (mostly by driving up stock prices), the prospects aren't good over the long haul.