Library closed next week

Stock up on your books, CDs and DVDs, the library will be closing for a week.

In an effort to save money, the library will close a week from today through Labor Day. The last day to check out Library items before the closure is Sunday, Aug. 30 and operations resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8th. No library materials will be due during this time and no fines will be accrued. The website and online catalog will be down, and there will be no “Quick Information” telephone service. This closure will save the system $655,000, more than half of the nearly $1 million budget reduction this year. The other $350, 000 in cuts will include layoffs, extending the staff computer replacement schedule and reducing the training budget. (Photo by Laughing Squid.)


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Edog
Member
Edog

This saddens and sickens me.

The library is such a great resource!

JM98107
Member
JM98107

Where will the homeless hang out?

great idea
Member
great idea

I believe this is why they scheduled the closure for the warmer summer months.

the last bastion of democracy, and they're closin' it down.

LovrienS
Guest
LovrienS

I'm confused how this will “save the system $655,000, more than half of the nearly $1 million budget reduction this year”? Does one week of closures really make this kind of a difference? I'm assuming this is branch-wide for SPL…

Very disappointed that libraries are having to make such horrible cuts.

ym
Guest
ym

well we can always raise taxes….

LovrienS
Guest
LovrienS

As a resident, I wouldn't mind paying taxes that serve such a purpose.

Landry
Guest
Landry

The Library accepts donations through their foundation:

http://www.foundation.spl.org/home.htm

I donate a few times a year. The free books and dvds are worth every penny!

Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

They'll still be there.

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

I'm mixed on this. On the one hand our family uses the library on a regular basis – we especially like being able to keep children's DVDs for weeks rather than a couple of days. They also have the best website of any library system I've used and most of the branches look new or recently fixed up. Finally, if a book is listed as being on the shelf I can almost always find it (unlike the SF library which was a disaster!) On the other hand, the library budget is just over $50 million which serves a city of ~600k. That works out to over $83 per person. That seems like a lot of money, especially considering how few people probably use the library. There's little benefit in having a library for those who don't use it, unlike public transit where drivers benefit by having fewer cars on the road (keep in mind every packed bus you see means a good 100+ cars not crowding the road you're driving down). It's also hard to argue that the library is a vital resource. Sure, there are a few people who depend on library provided internet access to look for work… Read more »

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

I also wouldn't mind. On the other hand is that fair to all the people who don't use the library?

ajeep
Guest
ajeep

even a modest fee carries enough of a burden to disuade potential users – and is antithetical to the ideals of Andrew Carnegie, not that is a bad thing.
just saying.
I like private libraries too.

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

True though it seems to work for PBS, NPR, KEXP, etc. Those resources are also free to all but still actively solicit member contributions.

I'd target it at patrons who are frequent users. Wouldn't be that hard for them to compile a list of people who had items checked out for at least half the year (or some similar metric) and then solicit those people. Like PBS, NPR, and KEXP they could include some sort of incentive item.

Landry
Guest
Landry

Donate to the library:

http://www.foundation.spl.org/home.htm

Just click on Donate Now. After you give the first time, they will send you periodic appeals in the mail. No need to charge membership…membership is a voluntary donation!

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

Very cool. I've been using the library as long as I've lived in Seattle and this is the first time I've heard of the foundation! You'd think that given the current financial situation they'd put a link to this on the library home page or in some other manner call attention to it. This is where groups like NPR, PBS and KEXP get an A+ while the library gets a big fat D-.

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

Is charging school tax fair to all the people who don't have kids? $83 seems a small price to pay. If you choose to not use what you pay for that is your issue. I use the library all the time and they are always busy. The idea of charging will surely close them instantly. Basically they would no longer be a library; they would be a book store. I lived in Albuquerque for many years and used the library system there. Albuquerque is a poor city with a very low tax base yet their libraries had books that were in better shape than does Seattle. AND get this, they charged no late fees. I was shocked but was told they had experimented and found that with no fees they had more books returned and in better shape meaning they had to replace them less often. Who knows, maybe Seattleites trash or steal books more often. All I know is three of the last four I ordered were in such bad shape I could hardly read them. One I did not even check out being worried I would be charged for trashing it. I have been disappointed in the Ballard… Read more »

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

“Is charging school tax fair to all the people who don't have kids? “ Yes. Economists have written extensively about this. In a nutshell, higher levels of education result in lower crime and fewer taxes being spent on other social services. This in turn impacts everyone, including those without children. Sort of like how having a fire department benefits everyone even though most people never need them. That you even pose this question proves you never took even a basic class in economics? “The idea of charging will surely close them instantly. “ Right, just like it closed SAM, the zoo, the Children's Museum, and the Museum of Flight and also took PBS, NPR, and KEXP off the air? Oh wait, that didn't happen. Care to provide a shred of evidence to back up your assertion? Also I never said charge everyone. “Charging for library….Carnegie would spin in his grave to see the thinking of Americans today.” No, he wouldn't. Again, you really don't what you're talking about. The Mechanics Library I belonged to in San Francisco was founded in 1854 – that's a good 20 years before Andrew Carnegie began amassing his fortune and nearly a half-century before he… Read more »

thatonekid
Guest
thatonekid

it sucks cause i go here almost everyday for the use of computers

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

Low income people don't visit SAM, the zoo, the Children's Museum, and the Museum of Flight.

How do you think we might determine who has to pay and who does not? What will be the cost to implement that plan?

The fact that charging for libraries existed BEFORE Carnegie is WHY he made his free. He made millions and gave a lot back. You can’t give a lousy $83? Certainly I want to go back to the ways things were in 1854 doesn't everyone? Life was so good then for so many. Nothing like a step backward..

NoraBell
Guest
NoraBell

A very important point of distinction, Sweet Rose. The libraries are one of the last entertainments left for low income people, as well as those suddenly unemployed and unable to afford internet at home for job research.

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

“Low income people don't visit SAM, the zoo, the Children's Museum, and the Museum of Flight.” Can you prove that? Do you have any info with which to back up that assertion? Do you know how many low income people visit the library? Where are you getting your information from or are you just making this up? Also SAM is free as part of First Thursdays and the Museum of Flight is free the first Thursday night of each month. READ MY ORIGINAL POST CLOSELY! I ***NEVER*** said **everyone should be charged**. Since you're too stupid or too lazy to read my original post here is the line again:“You could still make it free for for low-income households, students, the elderly and people who only check out a few items a year. ” What part of that are not intelligent enough to comprehend??? “The fact that charging for libraries existed BEFORE Carnegie is WHY he made his free.” Really??? Can you prove that or is this another of your made up “facts”?? Show me some evidence that Andrew Carnegie endowed money to create public libraries specifically in order to counteract the fees charged by public libraries. Look, you're entitled to… Read more »

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

“How do you think we might determine who has to pay and who does not? What will be the cost to implement that plan? “ 1) Nobody has to pay – I never said that. As for who they should solicit, I already answered that one. 2) I don't know the cost but can safely assume it's worth implementing. Unlike you, I'll provide some info to back that: NPR, PBS, KEXP, and thousands of museums all across the country have active marketing programs targeted at potential donors to help supplement the funding they receive from the government. Safe to assume they're all doing so because it is brings in far more funds than it costs. Personally, I'd like to see the library only reach out to individual patrons and not seek out corporate sponsors as other institutions do. Something about a sign stating “The Ballard Branch brought to you by Cupcake Royale” just seems a bit wrong (though I do love Cupcake!) BTW, the Seattle Public Library already charges fees for certain things and it appears not have had any negative impacts despite your claims to the contrary. Examples include room rental fees, interlibrary loan fees, nonresident library card fees,… Read more »

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

The cost for a family of four is about $50 to visit the zoo, SAM or the
Museum of Flight. That will also buy a week's worth of food. Do you REALLY think many low income families visit Spider? Not too many rent rooms is also my guess.

NoraBell
Guest
NoraBell

I couldn't reply to SeaSpider on this. Picture a raised hand. I can't afford SAM. I ONLY go on first Thursday. Do we want the library to have only one 'free day?' I don't think so.

ddd
Guest
ddd

Well, when you don't pay all 711 of your employees for a week, and don't contribute to their retirement plans, and don't contribute to their sick/vacation time, then, yeah, it adds up quickly.

ym
Guest
ym

I think we can all guess that Spider thinks poor people go to SAM and they don't go to the library because she has lived her life insulated from reality due to where and how she lives.