City Government

Library Plan Overdue

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While Team Dave was busy offering up an ill fated and outdated library bond, the worker bees in the library business continue their efforts at making services available to library types everywhere.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.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. What in the world are we to do with you Guardian?
    After all, we can only stand so much common sense!
    Any chance at all there is at least one person down at team Dave that will put this on the table?

    EDITOR NOTE–We have a county commissioner election on Nov. 7. Time for the candidates to get up to speed on this because they will be involved if elected.

  2. Library ad nauseum………… When will this ever end? You’d think that our fine mayor would be concerned with more important things, like where to put all the houses that are destined for the valley. How many times do we have to say “No thanks” to him? It’s starting to get a little old. I agree with the guardian here, maybe our leaders should cease the kingdom building and get it together.

  3. For Boiseans that don’t live close to downtown, a network of locations throughout the city makes sense. However, we don’t need full service libraries. I would be happy with a full time staffed location (no book-mobiles please!) that I can pick up books (or CDs/DVDs, etc.) I reserved and drop off the stuff I am done with.

  4. Library? Has anyone noticed the near complete lack of need for a traditional Library? The places are no longer used for the traditional reasons. Online is where things are moving….I don’t like it but lets face it folks, the current library seems to be a homeless hangout and study hall as much as anything. Traditional libraries need a new mission statement: 1) Fix what is wrong with the internet, 2) Provide safe storage for books lest we lose our way.

    Mr. Dave and company…better be looking forward before you blow all that cash.

  5. Another idea to add to the great ones you have suggested. So that we reduce the overhead let’s find locations that are already open and we share space.

    We do not need to build new buildings – just rent space or share with the schools or have the developers set aside space in business parks like they would set aside parks in subdivisions.

  6. OK, that does it! Out with all the bums.
    I hereby nominate the Guardian for City Council, County Commission, Legislature and whatever else comes up.

    Hey, is there any law that someone can’t be in all those jobs at once? If so, we need an initiative to change that law.
    The Guardian seems to be not only the only one who does some thinking, but also the only one who bothers to do some research instead of just jumping on whatever idea comes up — and without any politcal party to tell him what to think.
    (Fraz — don’t get too swell-headed about this, though. I’ll just make you
    top-heavy; then you’d probably tip over and hit your head on the concrete, and that
    could make you as loopy as all these other people we keep electing.)

  7. Sadly, you have missed one key point: Boise’s library is NOT the 900 pound gorilla.

    I use it, and it’s great to browse the stacks, but too often when I have found the book I want in their catalog, Boise owns one copy which is checked out, but Eagle or Star and maybe the county system also have one copy each, which are available. Gee, Boise has a zillion people, the others have only a quarter zillion…

    Anybody who uses Netflix must question this crusade for more expensive bricks-and-mortar libraries. I would rather see them utilize the internet and the Postal Service, and use the savings to buy more books.

    EDITOR NOTE–Good point. We would just like to see one system and one tax rate.

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