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Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Newton not yet in full support of county library system

By Rachel Christensen

November 24, 2008 | NEWTON -- Although the concept of a Cache County library system has won favor in the eyes of the county's bigger cities, small towns such as Newton hesitate.

Cleo Griffin, former director of Newton Library, said Newton voters aren't in favor of the county system although she thinks the idea has benefits. Griffin said she thinks the Newton Library has spoiled locals with its small-town feel and personal service.

Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon said the system would cut library costs for bigger cities like Logan, who is the only city to express their full support so far. He said smaller towns would have to pay more in order for the system to be able to function.

Lemon said the county would become responsible for the library buildings in Cache County if a county-wide system was formed, and all but two current libraries have work that needs to be done.

Greg Jorgensen, in Town Council on Sept. 4, discussed changes that were necessary in order to make the bathrooms in Town Hall, where the Newton Library resides, wheelchair accessible. Town Clerk Karla Ferguson said if the town applied for money to fix the they would almost automatically receive the grant.

In town council Oct. 2, Mayor Clair Christiansen said, "They think a county library fund will help build a library, but then the library would be theirs. We're pretty proud of what we've got."

"We are, we are," said Griffin in agreement.

Sara Rigby, Newton Library's current director, also is concerned with losing control of the Newton library if the library became part of a county system.

"The library really brings a sense of community to the town," Rigby said. "Once the county comes in they will disregard the services we give to our town. They will come in and nix little things we have because they don't think they benefit the county."

Rigby said although she worries about how the county might change Newton Library, a county library system would allow small town libraries to share the books that they have.

"Right there, that would benefit our citizens to have a wider variety of books as well as other libraries to have the books that we have," she said.

Whether Newton decides to accept the county library system or not depends on the details, Rigby said. She said she thinks there are some issues that still need to be worked out before the system would be beneficial to Newton residents.

"The county system, in concept and essence, would benefit citizen completely," she said. "If it was implemented correctly and the details were worked out."

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