Before Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and his Team Dave go too far politicizing libraries, we better talk to the hardworking folks who make it all work.
The GUARDIAN has been working below the radar to come up with a plan for a county-wide system of libraries in Boise and we can assure you it involves ALL citizens and “library types” who understand and value the services and rewards of a good library system.
People in Boise, Meridian, Garden City, Eagle, Star, and Kuna are all residents of Ada County. We should have just one library and Boise should NOT be the 900 pound gorilla.
Insiders at all levels–BPL staffers, Ada Community Library, and several 35 year library veterans–tell us the best thing we can do is have a COUNTY-WIDE LIBRARY. One former staffer tells us the State Library favors county libraries and they work toward such systems.
Guess what? TODAY, through a “consortium” of libraries that runs from Caldwell to Twin Falls and even to Hailey, you can use a Nampa library card to borrow a book in Boise and return it to Hailey when you are finished. Or any combination of transactions at those libraries.
If we consolidated just the Ada libraries we could have a greatly simplified system and EVERYONE would share in both the costs and the benefits.
As it is now Boise residents are getting hit unfairly in the pocketbook and Team Dave wants to build more libraries–he just doesn’t know how to fund them. The library law provides for consolidation with–A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE! We need to get this rolling before Boise gets a debt load or committed to one program without exploring consolidation.
Because Boise annexes beyong its ability to provide services, they PAY other libraries–over $500,000 to the Ada Community Library in southwest Ada County and Garden City–to provide services to Boise residents. HOWEVER, users (insiders call them “patrons”) from those districts can use their cards in Boise for free.
The GUARDIAN is in Champaign, Illinois writing this posting at a public library. Without getting into a debate about what libraries should offer, we feel computer access is absolutely essential. The days of card files and 10-year-old encyclopedias are gone. Today’s libraries offer traditional printed books alongside videos and access to just about any information on earth through the internet.
While Team Dave was busy offering up an ill fated and outdated library bond, the worker bees in the library business continue their efforts at making services available to library types everywhere.
We already share the books, how about sharing the control, funding, and costs countywide and we would all pay just once.
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