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August 19, 2013 9:25 AM   Subscribe

For you to borrow, some libraries have to go begging: NPR story about public library funding, featuring MeFi's own jessamyn. (previously)
posted by mark7570 (13 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
They also have to "weed" (aka dispose of) a book for every new book they acquire. An interesting perspective...
posted by analogue at 9:39 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I had just pulled into the Starbucks parking lot this morning when I heard this NPR piece start about libraries in Vermont. I thought to myself "Wouldn't it be funny if they talked to Jessamyn for this segment?" Sure enough...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:39 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

And meanwhile over in Kentucky...(link to an opinion piece in the HuffPo.)

not to derail but weeding out books is something that every single library does-- sometimes poorly, like in Urbana, IL, but it's not a rare process and it is often necessary and honestly more tax dollars are probably wasted holding onto disintegrating texts and storage space than from selling or recycling most weeded books, even if it does kind of stab me in the heart a little every time
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:48 AM on August 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm not anti-weeding (heh), but just think that the interplay of getting books and weeding books is a part of library economics people generally don't think about, so thought I'd bring it up in this context.

In general, I think raising people's awareness of the value of libraries is more important than anything else. My favorite example of this is the Troy, Michigan book burning campaign :)
posted by analogue at 9:55 AM on August 19, 2013

Wait. This is another NPR piece with Jessamyn? You go, girl!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:57 AM on August 19, 2013

Jessamyn said Kansas was her 5th favorite state, and I guess now I know why.
posted by hellojed at 10:05 AM on August 19, 2013

Why am I not surprised that reading is not considered important in Texas?
posted by COD at 10:08 AM on August 19, 2013

Kansas librarians are also working on a cutting-edge one-state, one-card system

Not that cutting-edge--Connecticut has had that system in place for almost 40 years. It's one of my favorite things about the state.

(Not surprisingly, we have a state library system and decent funding. The "Connecticard" program gets threatened with the chopping block every couple years but there's always enough outcry to save it.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:18 AM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yea, jessamyn!
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:29 PM on August 19, 2013

Why am I not surprised that reading is not considered important in Texas?

An overwhelming majority of Texans consider libraries to be important. Unfortunately a lot of Texans are unaware of what goes on in the state congress, and the state congress seems to prefer it that way.
posted by muddgirl at 1:45 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

COD: "Why am I not surprised that reading is not considered important in Texas?"

Not to intrude on the Texas-bashing (you did notice there were other states also mentioned, right?), but most libraries in Texas aren't funded through the Texas State Library. The TSL provides some services on a statewide level, yes, and the state funding cut hurts, though the TSL wasn't specifically targeted. 2011 was when the state Legislature attacked every budget line-item to preserve the oh-so-precious "Rainy Day Fund." Almost all libraries are funded through a city budget or by a conglomeration of libraries, such as the City of Fort Worth and surrounding suburbs coming together to fund a shared circulation system. There are no standalone library districts or independent taxing authority for libraries; it's all local.
posted by fireoyster at 10:27 PM on August 19, 2013

They also have to "weed" (aka dispose of) a book for every new book they acquire
It's sometimes nice to be reminded that large library systems have to do the same thing that I do with my library of, what, four shelves worth of books. As a couple international moves have reinforced, ya can only keep so many.
posted by whatzit at 4:07 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

This reminds me what a spoiled library patron I am. My local (within-long-walking-distance) public library had to cut hours due to budget cuts a couple of years ago; they now close at 5 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, which I have been considering a huge inconvenience. (Because there is no better place to spend Friday night than the library. What. Why are you looking at me that way?)
posted by BlueJae at 7:05 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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