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To the editor:

Dennis Lythgoe (July 19) has rightly taken the Salt Lake County libraries to task for their misguided approach in material acquisitions.As Lythgoe stated, community video dealers have gone to library director Eileen Longsworth complaining that her policy of entertainment over information is bad for both local business as well as the educational climate of the valley.

Longsworth responded to her critics with every argument possible. People wanting substance over fluff were labeled censors. Businesses expressing outrage at government-subsidized competition were chided as failures looking for scapegoats.

All this name-calling neglects a central issue best phrased in a single question. Why on earth is the county spending funds on popular video movies when these tapes can be found all over town in the private sector?

I don't know what the county's library cards look like this year, but mine is adorned with the slogan "Info." If county library officials want to betray that promise to cardholders, maybe they need to get out of the library profession and look for less honorable jobs.

As the Intermountain area's largest video distributor, we are deeply concerned over this competition from the public sector to the private enterprise video dealers we supply.

It is grossly unfair to businesses that are required to pay taxes, secure business licenses, employ people and who have all the expenses inherent with running a business to compete with a taxpayer-subsidized library system.

Ronald E. McMillin

Vice president and general manager

Best Video

Salt Lake City