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Your Letters: Kitchigami cuts: not just books

Recently, the Wadena County Commissioners decided to cut the amount allocated to the Kitchigami Regional Library System that provides services to Wadena County with a mobile library system and one branch library in the city of Wadena.

The library is not just about books -- far from it. A majority of Wadena County residents have no or little internet access. This presents problems on many levels. First, most employers are changing to completely electronic job application process. Currently, most major employers already do. The federal government has implemented a plan to transfer all records and initial contact to internet based systems. This will be fully in place in a couple years. This includes Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and the list goes on.

We live in a very poor county with a very high elderly population. These people will be the main users of the library for these government services. I think that is will be hard to justify to an elderly person who is not receiving their Social Security benefits that they must share the burden and go without simply because the county budget had to be balanced. The same goes for someone who really wants to join the work force but lacks the internet access to apply for a job.

This takes away access to the majority of the county residence to basic services provided by government entities. These decisions to save money and streamline services were made by elected officials far higher on the food chain than Wadena County commissioner. I do not expect the average citizen to understand the relationship of decisions made on the state and federal levels to the county and city levels. However, I do expect elected county commissioners to understand.

Pete Phillips


President, Wadena City Library Board