Hempstead Town Official Defends Libraries

July 25, 2018 - 2:03 pm

OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- After controversial op-ed pieces in Forbes over the weekend saying libraries should be replaced by Amazon to save taxpayers money, many people across the country have spoken out against the idea.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, one of them is in the town of Hempstead.

Standing inside the Oceanside Library, Hempstead town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin said libraries are more than just about books.

“First and foremost, you can get a book. You can read your newspaper; your local magazine. But you know what? You can get DVDs here. You can get Blu-Rays here. You can get video games right at any library now,” Clavin said. “It is an oasis and a retreat for a lot of people out there, in particular for people who don’t have the means to have the availability of things such as internet access at home.”

Libraries are where you can hear about different topics such as birdwatching, Clavin said. They are also a place for children to imagine and learn.

“You can come to your local library and get wi-fi. You can come to your local library and enjoy the ability to sit down and do your research, instead of going to an empty house, maybe after school,” he said.

The Forbes op-ed by Panos Mourdoukoutas went viral and was much maligned on social media before it was taken down.