My first post: A brief comment on children and libraries.
Illegally Obtained Services? Library Crime Video???
The Internet trumps public libraries by providing consistent universal service to anyone with access. One of my gripes is the lack of consistent universally available services to the public from public libraries. This is something most people have no control over, as libraries organize themselves to guarantee their funding.
There is no consistent method of funding public libraries and there is no agreement, knowledge, or understanding among the general public as to what services they provide or to whom. Some service districts pay a library tax, some counties, cities, or school districts add a portion to the school taxes, or have a line in their budgets. Some get by on sales of used donated books, bake sales, and volunteers.
The above Colbert Report clip demonstrates one mistake many libraries make. Libraries are used disproportionately by children and a small group of adults. In all communities many more people who are eligible to get a library card never bother. The people who use libraries are not the same as the people who pay to support them. What happened is the library confused the patrons they have, with their supporters in making their policy.
Why should library service be free and open to all who want them? Because that is what the people who pay the taxes want. Do I know this? No! My local library has never asked me by putting the question to a vote. The local library holds the alleged “budget vote” at the library in the middle of April. This guarantees the budget will pass, at least until ten people decide to organize to defeat it, and precludes involvement of the larger community they allegedly serve.