Last week GamePolitics reported that some Nebraska librarians were under investigation by State Auditor Mike Foley (R) for – horrors! – purchasing a PlayStation 2 and Rock Band set for use in the library.
Foley’s final report on Nebraska’s library system is now out, including his findings on the video game issue:
[Library] Commission employees have occasionally provided their own personal game consoles for trainings and demonstrations…
GP: Now that’s dedication, a quality that government bureaucracy is so good at beating out of its employees. No good deed, as they say, goes unpunished.
The purchase of gaming equipment is a questionable use of public funds. It is common
knowledge that children enjoy games and toys, so there appears to have been little need to
purchase the games.
GP: Wait – kids like games, so the library shouldn’t buy them? Does that mean they should expend their budget on things that people don’t like? WTH?
Moreover, none of the games purchased were so complicated or out of the ordinary as to require the Commission to demonstrate their use to library staff and others…
GP: Because absolutely everyone who walks into a Nebraska library – including older librarians – has an innate sense of how to set up and play Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution? Thankfully, the Library Commission defended it employees against the Foley-crats:
Gaming equipment and games have become increasingly popular and in demand resources for library programming and service. The Library Commission purchased game equipment in response to requests from Nebraska librarians for demonstration and instruction. The Library Commission’s actions in acquiring gaming equipment and a few representative games are proper and in accord with the agency’s state statutory mission and its purposes in introducing new technologies, techniques and providing information and instruction in the use of these technologies.
GP: Bureaucracy… Grrrr…
Via: Nebraska State Paper
UPDATE: Cornfed Gamer has a terrific report on the situation with lots of additional details.