The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

August 27, 2008

Cost of online law library criticized

By Damian Gessel

MIDDLEBURG -- Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz doesn't understand why county leaders last year tossed hundreds of law books into the garbage.

Last October, officials heaped the county's law library into a green Dumpster behind the Snyder County Courthouse, leaving the county to swap paper and ink for software.

While the books did require periodic updates, Kantz said Snyder County now is shelling out $10,000 each year to maintain its online law library -- a sum at which he scoffed Tuesday. "That was a pretty good waste of taxpayer dollars if you ask me," he said.

Neither Kantz nor fellow Commissioner Malcolm Derk were sure Tuesday who decided to dispose of the law library, which had been kept on the second floor of the courthouse.

The county is required to make such a facility available to the public.

"At the very least you'd think they would have recycled them," Kantz said of the books. "They're probably sitting in a landfill somewhere."

n E-mail comments to dgessel@dailyitem.com.