Auction: both views have merit

In the recent exchange of letters to the editor regarding the silent book auction, there has been much metaphor and hyperbole. Entertainment to match the politics-as-spectacle from down South.

In reading the thrust and parry of the last weeks, one might think that the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec library's decision to unburden itself silently of "its heritage" is on the level of Ray Bradbury's state sanctioned book burnings in Fahrenheit 451.

Or that it is nothing more than a bit of spring cleaning, on the level of "we have too many plastic containers, and the lids don't fit."

Both views have their merit. Cobwebs are only attractive on Halloween.

LHSQ president David Blair does make a good case for a cleanup, but finally he does not convince me.

I remember a suggestion some years ago about moving the library to Sainte-Foy where there is more parking.

The reaction was swift and unequivocal. The library is not just about the books. It is much more than a lending library.

This decision feels a little bit like moving to some place with a bigger parking lot.

If, as Blair says, it is not a decision related to space, I would like to suggest the library do what they have done in the past. I remember at one point looking for Graham Green and Paul Gallico on the shelves, only to discover that they had been moved down the hall and around the corner. I imagine that "down the hall and around the corner" still exists, so it should be used.

Finally, beyond the difference of opinion over this issue, something else has emerged and that is some deep-felt emotion.

This is understandable, but it would be a shame if this matter led to a breakdown in civility, and even more importantly to a breakup in relationships.

We are a small community, and we need each other. Long-term acrimony would be the real blow to our shared heritage.