Skip to comments.Funding for public libraries (vanity)
Posted on 03/26/2010 3:06:05 AM PDT by freelancer
I have an open argument with a liberal acquaintance over whether liberals or conservatives value public libraries more and which group is more likely to pull the plug on public funding. Most public libraries are supported with tax dollars with some additional support from grants and private donations.
Since freepers are a conservative crowd, I am seeking some feedback on which group is more appreciative of public libraries and which is more likely to close your local library.
I like education -- but I think government schools are a bad way to get there.
I like libraries -- but what I see of publicly-funded libraries makes me want to cut the funding.
Of course, I'm in MA, so maybe our libraries are not typical.
I will make three observations. From the prospective of a social agenda...a liberal front on the town or community council...does ensure continued operations funding. In a sense, they keep the lights on and the heat adjusted. When you hear words of a library trimming hours on Saturday or Sunday...it’s the liberal front that presses to halt that and simply keep it open.
From a growth or improvement stance....it’s typically donations from conservatives that adds a 100, or 500, or 1000 books to the library’s collection. Some well-to-do right-wing doctor will leave an endowment that gives that “surge” of books for five to ten years. Or it’s some businessman looking for tax angles and donates $250k to fix up a kid’s corner in the local library.
Finally, people would like to think that libraries are being appreciated by the entire community. From where I grew up....I doubt if ten percent of the local population utilizes the local or the county library even once a year. If I were taking a serious guess...probably closer to five percent. In high urban areas....it might get up to ten percent. So taxes and contributions are funding something that a very small segment of society has an appreciation over.
John Taylor Gatto suggested that folks compare the atmosphere inside a library with that found inside a public school. Night and day. The people in the library, you see, WANT to be there. They attend voluntarily.
Public school students are sullen inmates compelled by force to partake of something so worthless that the purveyors can’t even GIVE it away!
I love to read, so I would not cut library funding.
It is pretty frustrating that in PA, I can’t get books from other counties through interlibrary loan because library funding has been cut so much.
A 2.5 hour roundtrip to a wonderful library is worth it for the books, not so much for the gas expense (about 10 gallons) or the cost of returning the books by mail.
In the MA town I used to live in, it seemed that all the extra money and the majority of the property taxes, and Zero’s stimulus funds, went to pay for the schools. The library’s funding was cut every year, yet somehow they managed to justify spending more than $11,000 per student every year.
I don’t entirely agree with you. My daughter is an excellent student and her perception is that, while she has some substandard teachers, she has had many excellent teachers who are prevented from really teaching by the sullen inmates (who are unwilling to take advantage of a very expensive education). This is why I am in favor of extensive streaming (based both on aptitude and behavior). You will do something productive during school hours (either learn or find a task to perform).
I think libraries are essential and should be adequately funded. I don’t agree about selection of just liberal books made by another reply. My library purchases all the best seller books (both liberal and conservative). For example over a 100 C.S. Lewis books, 10 Solzhenitsyn, 4 Mark Levin, 3 Michelle Malkin, 7 Ann Coulter, 6 O’Reilly, 6 Goldberg, 3 Mike Huckabee, and 4 Pat Buchanan.
Public libraries are most likely to close, in my experience, when liberal governments/boards blow the funding on patronage jobs, p.c. programs, and poorly-chosen technological upgrades.
Conservatives want ... you know, books.
That said, philosophically I think libraries should be privately funded, with fees for those who can pay and charity memberships for those who can’t.
I am not familiar with the slang terminology everyone uses, nor do I think I want to get familiar with it. I think it is doing the citizens of this country a diservice, by the use thereof. How does a person interested in their country learn about it when the learned uses terminology that isn’t even in the dictionary.
Slang is disrespectful. As disrespectful as those coming from another country to live here and refusing to learn our english language., when they speak, no one can understand what they are saying. Old rules of etiquette still of necessity apply. Common courtesy is uncommon today, and this is a perfect example of it.
But on the issue of Libraries, I used libraries all of my life and enjoyed doing so. I grew up on the poverty end of the status line. So libraries to me were magnificent, in that I could not afford to purchase the books but could easily check them out, depending on which library, some librarians think they own the darn building and the books in it.
Electronic information has not changed or should not change how we record in books and archive the past, to pass down to future generations, electronics and the computer is not a reliable source of archiving information, too many possible malfunctions that can erase too much data.
Books have been the lifeblood of our nation, when no one living was educated enough to know about our government and how to restore it, we have books written long ago to turn to for guidance. More importantly, free, for anyone to use.
A very real and current wall that prevents the citizen of this country from knowing how to navigate the courts and the legal system, is the scarce information on it, and not readily available to all who are interested, only the upper class that are well off financially. What information is out there is usually out of date and out of reach for the average American.