Ever going to have a Library Conversation?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington Public Library wants another tax hike.  They are still looking to expand. What is clear is they aren’t expanding for books.  To keep traffic coming to the library their focus is events.  http://www.bloomingtonlibrary.org/Assets/files/bpl_board/boardpackets/2019/2019.10bplboardpacket.pdf Do taxpayers get a voice?  Does the Bloomington Library exist to hold free events?  Is that something […]

Drag Queens at the Library?

By:  Diane Benjamin In case you didn’t know, there is an establishment in downtown Bloomington that holds drag queen story hours for kids.  Since they are a private business, they can do whatever they want.  Next weekend is the 2nd Pride Fest.  Last year people told me it was not a kid friendly event Holding […]

Bloomington Library continues traffic decline

By:  Diane Benjamin PDF page 14 – Bloomington Public Library Board Meeting: The “Active Users” is the only number that has increased. PDF pages 29 and 30 show E-book and computer use are both higher than last year. More space for books is obviously not needed since circulation numbers continue to decrease. The library does […]

Library hiding info?

By:  Diane Benjamin The chart below is included in the Board Packet for the November meeting of the Bloomington Public Library Board.  PDF page 14:    http://www.bloomingtonlibrary.org/Assets/files/bpl_board/boardpackets/2018/2018.11bplboardpacket.pdf Circulation has been declining since 2013.  “Active Users” isn’t defined, but the increase isn’t because they are checking out materials. This story recaps the facts available for October 2017, […]

Why does the Library want to expand?

By:  Diane Benjamin We may find out tonight at the Committee of the Whole meeting.  The Library staff is making their presentation on how plans are going. They should answer some questions first: From the September 2014 City manager’s report:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=7452 2014 was down from 2013! What about September of 2018? The below is from […]

Bloomington Library No longer Publishes Facts

By:  Diane Benjamin It wasn’t that long ago the data pertaining to City functions was available.  We used to know what the tax receipts were – now we don’t.  We used to know traffic at the library has been declining – now we have no idea.  Traffic isn’t included in Library Board reports either. The […]

How much did TV commercials cost?

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the 15 second commercial run on television for the Bloomington Public Library? I received the cost by FOIA: The FOIA response claims two television commercials were produced. I only received one in response to my FOIA request. NOTE:  All of the commercials that have run have not been billed. . . […]

Update to: Public Servant

By:  Diane Benjamin See the original story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/05/16/true-public-servant-cough-cough/ A reader emailed this comment to the library along with a link to the story: ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ . The writer received this response: ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ Every City employee needs the same message.  Thanks Jeanne Hamilton. . . . . . .  

Thank you Tari – Library FOIA

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story from two days ago:  https://blnnews.com/2018/05/15/foia-fail-again-and-again/ I emailed both the City Clerk and Tari about the ridiculous .50 (fifty cents) charge and use of a disk since previous large FOIA requests have been delivered via Hightail.  Yesterday afternoon I received the request digitally.  Since the Clerk probably would have ignored […]

True Public Servant (cough cough)

By:  Diane Benjamin Being a government employee living off money stolen from hard-working taxpayers must not come with a course in what shouldn’t ever be said in public.  I’m sure some laugh with each other about the sweet benefits they get and the life long spiked pension they will collect that increases automatically every year.  […]

FOIA fail – again and again

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader told me at the end of April the Bloomington Public Library was running ads on a Peoria TV station.  On April 30th I filed a FOIA request for the ad and what they are spending on advertising. Keep in mind the City of Bloomington spends a fortune on IT and […]

Yes there are free lunches!

By:  Diane Benjamin In yet another attempt  to turn the library into something it was never meant to be:     http://www.bloomingtonlibrary.org/Assets/files/SRPprogramguide.pdf I wonder where the tables and chairs will be set up?  How are they going to keep the jelly fingers off the books?  Will the library staff have to wash kids hands after lunch? […]

Bloomington Library facts

By:  Diane Benjamin The City Manager has issued a report for February.  The library stats posted for 2018 are not the same stats used in 2017, so I took the ones that can be compared and turned them into a chart. 2018 Library facts:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16111 2017 Library facts:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12434 The library wasn’t included in the […]

Why does the Library need to expand?

By:  Diane Benjamin Library Stats from January of 2017: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12246 Library Stats from January of 2018: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15890 . . . . . . . /   2017 doesn’t say how many visited Items checked out decreased in 2018 People using the computers decreased in 2018 New cardholders decreased in 2018 Holds decreased in 2018 Wi-Fi […]

Did the Library Board scam the Council?

By:  Diane Benjamin The email below was written by the Bloomington Public Library Board President.  I redacted who it was written to.  It’s the content that is interesting. Alex was obviously worried about getting the tax increase passed the Board wanted.  According to this story, the library didn’t say at the Council meeting why they […]

Bloomington gets funny too

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember that joint meeting of the Council, Library Board, and Connect Transit that 5 members of the Bloomington City Council voted not to hold?  Remember Tari called a special meeting anyway? Remember how he claimed his Downtown Task Force worked for months and had a right to be heard?  Remember the editorial […]

December Library Stats

By:  Diane Benjamin It is no surprise the City no longer compares years for the library in the City Managers Report.  When the number are decreasing, it’s hard to convince people you need to more space. 2017 Source – PDF page 11:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15648 2016 Source – PDF page 10:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=11954 2015 was not included in the City […]

False Flag

By:  Diane Benjamin The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by individual entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them. This statement perfectly describes the meeting Tuesday night held by […]

Library – the FACTS

By:  Diane Benjamin Back when the City Manager did real Monthly Reports, the library traffic was easier to understand.  It always included year-to-year comparisons.  The summary now doesn’t. See this graph from October 2015:  PDF page 43  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9452 This is what was reported for October 2017: PDF page 11    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15324 Several items are noteworthy: a large […]

Downtown Task Force gets slapped

By:  Diane Benjamin The “Special” meeting before the 7:00 Council meeting has discussions about the library and the City property tax rate. The Library Board wants a tax increase but they don’t know what it is for.  Either they are going to continue plans to expand where they are or they are going to use […]

Downtown isn’t the City Core!

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown businesses didn’t even support the Downtown Bloomington Association.  Now the DBA employees are happy City employees complete with higher salaries, benefits and pensions! The Coliseum and the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts (BCPA) were supposed to brings hoards of people downtown. The Visitor’s Center in the McLean County History Museum was […]

Open Meetings Act Violation #3

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been found guilty of more violations, but this makes 3 that I either filed or was closely involved in the filing. This time it’s the library: Of course there isn’t a penalty assessed even though law specifies penalties are available.  Laws only matter if us peons are […]

You can afford it!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council is going to vote next Monday to raise your sewer and storm water rates much faster than originally presented.  After all, this Council is fixing what previous Councils ignored – essential services.  Even though voting on items not on the agenda isn’t allowed, the council took a “straw poll” on […]

Hey Bloomington!

By:  Diane Benjamin Nothing coming from this Council or Tari’s Downtown Task Force should surprise anybody.  Vote for Big Spenders and you get the same policies that has the State with $15 Billion in unpaid bills!  (after the tax increase) The people Tari appointed  to plan downtown spending think just like him.  (Are any on […]

Library investigated for OMA

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the two illegal meetings held by the library board because they weren’t posted 48 hours in advance?  https://blnnews.com/2017/06/20/followup-illegal-meetings/ Keep in mind I notified both the Sheriff and the State’s Attorney’s office prior to the meetings, they did nothing to stop the crime of violating the Open Meetings Act.  Law for government […]

Followup: Illegal meetings

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I did not receive a response from the State’s Attorney or the Sheriff.  The illegal joint meeting between the Council and the Library Board took place. Bloomington attorney Jeff Jurgens admitted in an email the two meetings now posted on the Library Board website were not posted 48 hours in advance. […]

UPDATE: Playing nice – for now

I’ve said over and over laws are broken here because nobody will prosecute.   Tonight’s illegal meeting will take place and so will the illegal meeting the library has scheduled for tomorrow.  The Sheriff doesn’t care – he hasn’t responded to my email.  The States Attorney’s office doesn’t care either – Knapp hasn’t responded to […]

UPDATE: Illegal Meeting Tonight

Evidently someone at the library is pretending this was posted: I have a picture of the library website on my phone from this morning with a date and time stamp showing the first two meetings were not posted.  Today’s meeting is illegal and so is tomorrow’s.  48 hours people!  Do I need to bring the […]

December Library usage

By:  Diane Benjamin From Page 10 – City Manager’s December report:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=11954 From page 44 of the December 2015 City Manager’s report:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9706 Information for December 2015 isn’t available.  Library information is missing from many of the new jumbled City Manager reports.  David Hales is DONE winning awards for delivering information to citizens! The transparency […]

Bloomington Library FACTS

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 […]

Bloomington meets again Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night the Council is holding a Special Session with secret meeting (Executive Session), a Work Session, and the Council meeting. Theme for the work session: Ever program must pay for itself (except the Coliseum) No, the Coliseum isn’t on the agenda.  They can lose as much money as they want and […]

Hales October Report:

By:  Diane Benjamin The October City Manager’s report is now on-line:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9452 Miller Park Zoo Revenue from admissions was up 13.3% for the current fiscal year. Last year, the revenue from admissions broke the all-time record for the Zoo in a fiscal year. This represents the fourth consecutive year the all-time attendance revenue record was […]