If you have received a copy of the “Peoria Public Library Strategic Plan – The Facts”, you will note that the “facts” do not include the outrageous cost to the Property Tax Payers of Peoria; $35,000,000.00. That’s thirty five million dollars. Why wouldn’t that figure be on a facts sheet?
You will note that this fact sheet says that “Three small branches on the South Side are offering “inadequate” service due to lack of space and staff.” This statement is contradicted by the new Library Director, who lives in an apartment in the Twin Towers and pays no property taxes, who is quoted in the Journal Star saying that Harrison Library was being closed because of “underutilization”.
This fact sheet says that Lakeview is operating “way beyond capacity”. But I’m told that the library could use more help. More space can be created by removing unused books, unused shelves; over 900 linear feet of empty shelf space and taking down the now empty bookshelves to create much more space. As a person who has visited that library hundreds of times; probably 10 times more than LaHood, Risinger and Leitch combined, I refute that statement. Also, space could be created by removing the pornographic books. Patrons can find a whole section of Erotica at Barnes and Noble and sit all day in easy comfortable living room chairs and never spend a dime.
On 3/04/06, the JSEB reported that the PPL had brought wireless connections to two of its busiest branches. I am told by the City of Peoria and the Chamber of Commerce that a wireless “cloud” will soon be put over the entire city making the wireless connections available without entering any library. Check it out with your City Councilperson.
Before supporting this huge $35 million dollar more efforts should be made to combine libraries into our public school system and have these libraries manned by competent librarians of which this community has a surplus. All schools have their own libraries now. The problem is they are not open after school hours and are not manned by competent skilled librarians such as the public librarians who are. I’m gathering more info on the strengths and weaknesses of the school libraries.
This community has millions of books, thousands unread. Libraries have Encyclopedias of several kinds. All this information is now available thru the computers at the libraries but I doubt that many people use the computers for that service. I know they do not use the Encyclopedias because none of the many volumes show little, if any, wear, especially those at “the three small libraries that are planned to be combined into one”.
I learned that another way pornography enters our property tax supported libraries is thru discs that can be inserted in all the machines. That explained the “crowd of four” watching porn on the computer monitor. When I asked how that can happened when the library has a policy “not posted” that I could see of no porn in the library and no one could answer my question other than saying “they are not supposed to use our computers like that.”
I’d appreciate anyone’s experience with the public school libraries. Thanks..