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.
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Mar 2, 2006, 4:05 pm
When will these folks get it….WE DO NOT WANT ANY MORE TAXES! Cut your spending!
Mar 2, 2006, 6:04 pm
The Guardian again has hit the bullseye, first shot! A county wide system, that incorporates all libraries, city, county, bsu etc. and one in which patrons can use the facilities of all participating libraries comes close to the answer.
A more professional administration, apolitical, is needed so as to seperate it from the money hungry local politicians and real-estate /land developers.
responsible planning should have been made years ago, but it’s not too late. The library patrons of Boise are waiting for you, Mr. Cotrell and Mayor Bieter too start acting like representatives of the people.
Mar 4, 2006, 5:12 pm
I have no problem with bringing on a consultant as long as the focus is to go into the neighborhoods around town and see what people want and are willing to pay for. Stay away from the Ohio consultant who worked for the Boise Schools and messed things up so badly a year or so back.
Guardian is wise to cite Marc Johnson. He is a new Library Board member and one of the more astute appointments by Mayor Bieter. The mayor has dutifully followed through with the long-standing Library Board desires which were delayed by the corruption scandal of the Coles administration. Now the current regime can look in other directions to find a more acceptable way to expand library services (more acceptable = 67 percent, which means find an improvement over the widely acceptable but inadequate 57 percent).
I must disagree with Guardian on the notion of a county-wide library system. You get outside Boise and there are too many anti-tax types who will stand in the way. Just take a look at who they send to the state legislature and you’ll know what I mean.