City Government

Library Plan Needs Refining

A GUARDIAN correspondent received a slick brochure urging residents to “Vote Yes for Boise’s Library!”

The brochure is from “Great Libraries for Great Neighborhoods” and offers Shauneen Grange at 345-2125 as a contact.
library sign.jpg

The GUARDIAN correspondent lives a good mile and a half from the Boise City Limit and cannot vote on the measure! We know the target lists are handled by zip code, but it points up both a problem and a solution on the library bond.

Rather than Boise going it alone for three libraries at $38 million and not having the cash to fund the operations and salaries, how about having a countywide library system? That would sure cut the hassles of determining who has pirvileges and who pays. There are agreements in place that have Boise PAYING other municipalities for service to Boise residents, but Boise loans its materials for free via interlibrary agreements. Boise offers FREE service to BSU students, but BSU won’t reciprocate with Boise. As the Brits would say, “It makes a lot of nonsense.”

If this bond fails, we would like to see it come back as a countywide system. The city pushes regional planning for transportation, blueprint for growth, smart growth, etc. They should be consistant and go for a county library.

It makes even more sense when you realize Boise School District kids live outside Boise and Meridian Students live inside Boise. Dump the borders, pool the cash and have a county library…we ALL live in Ada County.

The Sunday Idaho Statesman had a great front page and two page inside spread on the library bond. We disagree with their editorial, but the Brad Hem reporting was top rate and deserves a read if you care one way or the other.

One thing the Statesman story pointed out was that Boise has fewer library USERS than our neighbors in the Northwest. That can be seen as a lack of facilities means fewer users or lack of users means no demand for facilities.

Conservative anti bonder Jim Auld didn’t make many friends when he declared that libraries are a “thing of the past.” There are those who would say the statement shows WHY libraries are needed.

Truth is, libraries have indeed evolved–into refuges for the homeless, internet computer access points, and sources for free artwork and videos. They also offer some good reading in the form of books.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I used to live in the “Northwest”, Seattle and Portland respectively. I did use the library alot more there. Why? because it rains so much. I love librarys and I think the County Library idea makes sense. If you ever want to experience a fantastic county library, check out the Pasadena County Library in Pasadena, California. Absolutly delightful. The periodical reading room was wonderful. I doubt Boise has the capability of designing anything but a cheap ugly foam building to match the rest of what gets dished up in this town. I don’t support the library bond because people who live in the county will not be able to use it.

  2. If I were a betting man, I’d say the library vote is a sure failure. I’ll be surprised if it gets a simple majority, let alone the super-majority it needs to pass. People are fed up with property taxes, especially after Dirk declares it’s not a state problem… it’s a county problem.

    Just a thought… there’s an ALBERTSON Library on the campus of Boise State U. What would be so bad about a “Steve Appleton Library,” or a “Joe Terteling Library,” or… dare I say it… a “Larry Johnston Memorial Library”? (Goodness knows, the man has the money!)

    Or, if you wanted to go in the “Taco Bell Arena” direction with possible name-brand sponsorship… how about a “Starbucks Library”? Starbucks could put up the structure – and ply the $5 coffee trade in the midst of the city-owned-and-operated book stacks. I think it’s a natural!

    I’d possibly be more in favor of a COUNTY-wide library. Or alternatively, the more outlying areas could implement a local improvement district and build a library in that way. They build sewers that way… why not a library?

  3. lib.Redneck
    Jan 31, 2006, 9:43 am

    Privatize. That would be our solution to libraries, schools, health care… If I don’t use it; I don’t pay for it. I’m tired of the free-market morphing into a socialist giant of apparent do-gooders. I don’t want to pay for other people. “The common good” Is there such a thing? “The schools need money.” Great, then people with kids in the school should give money. “We need libraries so our people can be an informed society.” You can lead a horse to water….

    Parents are paying upwards or $700/month for infant care. Why can’t parents later pay $250/month for a good private education in a facility of their choice. Do you want your kids to learn about Intelligent Design instead of evolution in schools? Then pay for it.

    Library lovers out there… Go buy a membership to a private sponsored library. Stay out of my checkbook.

  4. Please people. The city of Boise purchased the property at a dead end street (Parkcenter) from a developer (O’Neill) several years ago. The City paid top $ for this ground for a library! If you don’t vote for this it will really hurt the Bown Crossing Development! What will the city do if with the property if this doesn’t pass? Do you really think that a library could go into the shut down KMart building less than a mile away! Don’t you want your library employees to have a new building rather than a remodeled one? Even though the City could sell this and make enough money for the remodel, we have to keep up with the new libraries in other big cities… like Seattle! And you citizens that vote against this remember if it doesn’t pass the City will put it up again next year and it will cost you more money in the long run. Use your head Boise! We need a place for the homeless people to hang out on the East side of Boise….right next to Riverside grade school

  5. Ah yes, another “It was great in Seattle, or Portalnd, or Boston, on ad nauseum. And you should see the dandy ###### that ******* California has.” No wonder so many tax increases and bonds get passed around here. That is another one of the sad things about the “Democracy” that we have become.
    I agree with “lib Redneck.” Stay out of my checkbook! Regardless of what Hollywood Dirk says about his “friend’s” and Master’s opinions of taxes in Idaho, the rent to local gov’t. on my home in Ada county is already too high. The taxes on it are escalating faster than the inflation rate of the Weimer Republic.
    (Do you suppose enough people will once again fall for Dirk’s simplistic ploy of holding up a penny and calling the one PERCENT increase in sales tax a necessity to save our 1. Children, 2.Schools, 3. Roads, 4. “Quality” teachers, etc. etc.?) Grinning Bob Smiley wore THAT line of bull out in the sixties before we had a sales tax.
    Probably if rural Ada County needed libraries beyond the school libraries we currently fund, I imagine we would have them already. If I am willing to drive that far, Kuna, or Nampa, or maybe even Boise will sell me a library card.
    NO change isn’t always “good.” Some of us loved the Idaho of our youth and will not willing support anymore extravagant “progress” that we have to pay for.

  6. I suppose you all would have been happy if the Foothills Levy hadn’t passed – or if we all had to pay to use the Foothills every time we wanted to go running or walk the dog. Heck – why don’t we take it a step further and privatize the Sawtooth Mountains or the Grand Canyon?

    We have public institutions so they can benefit everyone. I grew up with in a middle income family and I read more books at the Boise Public Library than my parents ever could have bought. In fact, when I go back there some of the librarians still remember my name from when I was a little girl. Now that is priceless.

  7. Dtrain
    I know what you mean about people remembering your name..heck my parole officer still remembers mine! Doesn’t make me want to vote for a new jail!

  8. Porc–
    Maybe you should have gone to the library a little more often too – by staying there and out of trouble, you could have bypassed the parole officer situation.

  9. Dtrain
    Well you know what it was like growing up in Boise in the 50′s. Nothing to do, no where to go. I blame all of my wild oats days on my years at the U of I. It was the shock of moving out of Boise. Now they ( U of I) had a great library. You could even bring in your adult beverages with you. And lets not forget about Wallace Idaho… ahh the good old days!

  10. Well I grew up in Boise in the 80s, West Boise actually. And we had to truck all the way down to Downtown to go to the library. Its years too late for me, but it sure would have been nice to ride my bike there. As it was, we went to the Maverick on Franklin Rd. to buy candy and later, see if they would sell us cigarettes.

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