By: Diane Benjamin
Information is harder to compare now that the Hales’ City Manager Reports are history. Instead of transparency, he posts bits and piece of data and I have to put it together. I imagine soon the bits and pieces will disappear because tax increases are much easier when government claims they need more dollars without any proof.
This is what Hales did post concerning the library for July 2016: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11228
From the Hales City Manager report for July 2015: https://blnnews.com/2015/09/03/library-madness/
2014 – 42,349
2015 – 33,717
2016 – 20,452
Items checked out:
2014 – 142,819
2015 – 132,776
2016 – 128,439
Of course the Pantagraph didn’t question Board President Carol Koos when she stated the library serves a growing population which means a growing budget.
The new library Director Jeanne Hamilton stated that more money is needed for the library expansion and Illinois cut their funding $36,000.
I realize government at every level has a problem with facts.
Now you do know the facts. Does the Bloomington City Council realize that technology is changing, traffic at the library is WAY down, and items checked out is WAY down?
There is no need for a tax increase or a library expansion unless the new purpose is a free social and fun club at taxpayers expense.
The aldermen should demand a full three comparison and explanation before stealing more of your money. They should also demand Board members and employees use facts instead of spin.
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I’m not asking you to do research but I wonder what the numbers are for the Normal library. Although, their plans clearly indicate that it will be a social gathering place–probably with a safe-space.
I don’t know if they publish stats or not.
Libraries are not going to be needed in the very near future. Why would we need a repository of bound dead trees when everything is online or digital? A budget should be prepared to transition libraries into museums with walk through tours about how people used to find out information in the “old days.” Seriously, libraries are dinosaurs slowly dying in the tar pits of the 21st Century.
Not in Bloomington! Facts don’t matter.