Maybe I missed this yesterday. Maybe it is breaking news. But, remember that federal grant to the Appalachian Regional Library System for planning? Remember, the federal government is burdening future generations with humongous debt, the federal government can’t provide all the welfare it promises, the federal government can’t fund military defense, it can’t slow the infiltration of terrorists via the Mexican border, it couldn’t even balance the budget for one year if it soaked all its rich – but it can give $34,000 to Western North Carolina counties for library planning.

To those who believe the federal powers enumerated in the Constitution include subsidizing planning against clear and present dangers in library catalogs, consider this:

First and foremost, however, the system will take time to see where the need is greatest for the incoming funds. “We will first spend some time and effort to assess our communities, including surveying and talking with folks in all three counties, so that we will have a clear understanding of what our communities need and want from their public libraries,” ARL director Jane Blackburn said. “Then we will create service goals and objectives for our five-year plan to guide what we do to meet those needs. Finally, we will undertake a region-wide, internal, operational study to determine how best to balance regional and local control and share resources across the three counties.”