NEWPORT BEACH — Reporters from the "Today" show and Al Jazeera don't call Newport's City Hall too often.
But they did last week after the Daily Pilot and Los Angeles Times published a story that went viral, and in the city's eyes, spiraled out of control. The piece was about the library's Balboa Branch and the city's plan to replace it with an "electronic library" — one without book stacks — at the planned Marina Park community center.
Little did city officials know that the concept of doing away with books would spark the ire of librarians, book lovers and library users around the world. Some even thought that the city was doing away with books at its libraries entirely, which was not the case.
How the story morphed and spread illustrates the power of the modern-day media echo chamber. Ultimately, the city changed its Marina Park plan and added stacks, but some residents are still furious about possibly losing their longtime branch.