Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Books in the Balance

Founding Father Ben Franklin in his infinite wisdom knew the value of an informed electorate, so it should be no surprise that it was Franklin who invented the first public lending library. Lake County has its share ...
Lake County Public Libraries
about 20 by your LakeCountyEye's count. Figuring the county population at 800,000, that works out to more or less a 1/40000 part of a library for every man, woman and child. That's maybe one square foot per reader. Thankfully our libraries are seldom if ever used -- mostly by pockets of Harvard bound middle-school overachievers.

Which goes a long way toward explaining why your library is on the brink of filing for Chapter 11 protection ...
Meeting doesn't ease librarians' angst over state budget woes
If one reads between the lines of the Daily Herald story, your librarians are seeing red ink because of politicians who like to talk tough about cutting taxes but don't want to find ways to pay for services you take for granted and rely on. Like your public library.

What to do now that State of Illinois library grants are all drying up? One Rep mentioned in the Herald story had some creative ideas for addressing this crisis:
State Rep. Eddie Washington, a Waukegan Democrat, proposed two novel fundraising ideas: a scratch-off lottery game and special license places that would support libraries.
Your LakeCountyEye, nothing if not an aficionado of novel fundraising ideas, polled some other lawmakers for their suggestions. Here are their ten best ideas for painlessly generating some new revenue for the local libraries:

Ten New Revenue Sources for Illinois Libraries
  1. Hire Dog the Bounty Hunter to collect on overdue books.

  2. Two words: Video Poker

  3. Buy inexpensive paperbacks instead of expensive hardbacks. Used.

  4. (a) Petition IDOT to place traffic lights in front of libraries.
    (b) Petition IDOT to install Red Light Cameras.

  5. Have bookmobile carpool with bloodmobile.

  6. Downgrade from Dewey Decimal System to less expensive Dewey Integer System.

  7. Sell library parking lots to Chicago Parking Meters LLC.

  8. Convert from non-renewable, coal burning heating systems to renewable, paper burning heating systems.

  9. Do like the Internet bloggers do -- charge five dollars a word.

  10. Outsource to Taiwan.

(Don't forget, February is Library Lovers' Month!)

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