Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Checking Out A Library Book? That'll be $1.00, Please.

What's wrong with this quote?

"Even though there would be a private company running it, it would still be a public library," said Peggy O'Lea, Shasta Library Foundation executive director.

There must be something nasty in the Redding, CA, water.

Otherwise, the city council's town motto must be "Fascism Friendly!"

Privatizing the public library
is like privatizing any public institution: Instead of funding a public concern (like a public library) with a sufficient operating budget, a publicly allotted amount of cash is handed over to a private company, whose "executive director" and staff draw salaries and "fund" the public concern with what's left over. For example:

LSSI (the private company) would realize the bulk of these savings by offering employees less expensive benefits and 401(k) retirement plans rather than the far more costly and generous public pensions library employees currently receive.

The firm picks up "very little" medical, dental and vision insurance for new and part-time workers, Bachman said. But employees with the firm 10 years or more get 100 percent medical coverage.

Librarians are among our nation's best trained and lowest paid workers. Naturally, they're easy targets for fascists pretending to save money while wearing the fiscal responsibility mask. Oh, and this private company PLANS TO CHARGE CITIZENS FOR CHECKING OUT BOOKS.

To recap: As a citizen, you pay taxes to fund your public library system. Your taxes pay highly trained librarians (most have advanced degrees these days) a pittance. When a library is privatized, your tax dollars also fund the overhead of and line the pockets of the private company staff and management. Plus, you get to pay for the books you check out.

Does paying twice for a public service sound like a good deal to you? What if you're poor?

Too bad, poor people! You're SOL.

And I haven't even mentioned the obvious opportunity for censorship. Who's going to decide which books and periodicals the library will ultimately purchase? You think this private company won't use the fiscal responsibility mask to object to librarians' choices?

and Carnegie are nothing more than dust in the Redding wind.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--


Anonymous Paul -V- said...

The very idea of a privatised library makes my skin crawl. Can't those bastards keep their grubby paws off ONE well-run public unitily?

Wait, don't answer that.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

My county (Merced) has the same economic problems as Shasta (Redding). We had to cut library hours and recruit volunteers for some things.

Still we kept it public and open.

1:04 AM  

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