We noticed a Statesman story by Brad Hem says that despite voter denial of a $38 million library bond, proponents plan to offer up another version…soon.
Some alternatives were discussed at a Wednesday meeting of the library board:
–Rerun the same losing proposal
–Smaller branches in strip malls
–Seek private funding to reduce the bond amount
–Sell surplus city land to fund library branches
–Include the Vista and Bench neighborhoods in a new plan
Now they are looking to contract with someone to determine exactly what the city needs for library service.
GUARDIAN thinks the needs should have been determined BEFORE the bond was proposed. We also think the citizens should determine what we need and what we are willing to pay for. Forget the consultant…too much has been spent already on out of town “experts.”
The defeated plan was essentially the same as the one brought forth by the previous Boise city administration before they were either jailed, resigned, or were voted out of office.
Trustee Marc Johnson has the right idea: talk to the citizens and think “outside the box.”
The GUARDIAN offers the following ideas and tips:
–Success of any library depends upon top notch staffers, not facilities
–Any new facility will of necessity be internet based and FULL of computers
–Too many uses (parks, cops, kids, homeless, recreation, meeting) sounds good, but for every vote you get, you lose one as well and you need 2 out of 3 YES.
–Leased strip malls have a lot of potential
–Make libraries access points for city records, reports, agendas etc. via computer
–Get rid of the library land Chuck Winder purchased in secret. Bet you a year’s GUARDIAN salary you can’t sell it for what it cost despite rising land values!
Given all the above, we still think a COUNTY library system which incorporates the resources of all libraries is without question the best idea. Boise currently pays Garden City for library service, for example, but loans them books through interlibrary loan programs without charge. Boise has the largest library in the state, but still PAYS its neighboring jurisdictions for library service.
Boise allows BSU students from anywhere on earth to check out books, but BSU will not return the favor to Boise patrons.
The message to library types is: ASK WHAT WE WANT, don’t tell us what we need.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.