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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Aurora library election loss

So Aurora citizens soundly defeated (54 to 46%)the proposal to shift funding of Aurora, Colorado public libraries from the falling sales tax to more stable property taxes. All understood that 4 of 7 libraries would close, and some 40 jobs be eliminated. Said the victorious leader of the opposition, "This is not a referendum on libraries." Rather, it was to save property owners an estimated $5.69 a month.


Mark said...

How utterly depressing.

Amy said...

That's terrible.

~M said...

I hope that 2 Starbucks lattes a month were worth the loss in intellectual stimulation, 40 jobs, the spending from those employees, and the empty buildings that will ring hollow where lively readers once sat. For me, I'd gladly give up much to keep the libraries open. It's such a tremendous community service.

Jamie said...

I have to take all this as confirmation of the OCLC "From Awareness to Funding" report. Fewer libraries make it to the ballot. Fewer libraries win when they do. People say they value libraries, but not when it comes down to a commitment of $5.69 a month. We can say that's a problem of perception. We can say it's a cultural dysfunction. But I'm with Mark and Amy: I find this local evidence both terrible and utterly depressing.

Suzanne said...

Kris Johnson pointed out in her libnet email that it was actually a small number of Aurorans who decided the library's fate. That makes it more depressing, since it was no mandate of the people. (unless you count silence and inaction as a mandate.) Here is what she wrote:
Or those that actually chose to vote. According to the Denver Post
( only 18,664 people decided the fate
of this initiative. Census data shows a population of a little over
300,000 residents

Amy said...

"America's libraries are the fruits of a great democracy. They exist because we believe that information and knowledge are not the exclusive domain of a certain type or class of person but rather the province of all who seek to learn. A democratic society holds these institutions in high regard." ~Robert S. Martin.