Friday, May 23, 2008

Peoria City Council Please Note

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Barnes and Noble, America's leading book retail bookseller reported a wider first quarter net loss, cut its sales forecast and said its same store sales fell 1.5%. Barnes and Noble now predicts sales to be slightly lower instead of slightly positive for the year.

The company is still considering buying the failing Borders Bookseller whose shares are trading this morning at $6.93 down from a 52 weeks high of $24.15. Barnes and Noble shares fell today to $28.75 from a 52 week high of $43.90.

These books stores are multi-purpose stores similar to the type of library you are being asked to expand by $35,000,000.00.

Peoria has much higher priorities on which to spend this money. You are already funding our libraries at over $11,000,000.00 a year while nearby Peoria Heights and Dunlap Libraries are under used. Both within easy driving distance of North Peorians.

With some small revisions, the Peoria area would be over served by libraries. Stacks of unused books can be taken down and this space used for additional computers although more and more people are able to use digital systems to access information at their homes.
Studies show that poorer people use libraries less than the more affluent. Same as in our public school systems.


Tom said...

I think the idea of a north side library when the library in Dunlap is in the middle of an expansion is ridiculous. The location on North Allen road is only a few miles from the Dunlap library with almost all the new housing growth between the two libraries.

dd said...

Yeah, why not get rid of publicly funded libraries. They compete with the private sector and drive up our taxes. Books should be just like health care - if you can't afford it, you can't have it.

Merle Widmer said...

Why go from sublime to ridiculous? Who is advocating getting rid of public libraries?

Read my archives on libraries going back to 2004. I am an avid supporter of priorities needed in this community. $35 million for libraries is hardly a priority.

The library board already closed the library at Taft homes and plans to close RiverWest Libray and Southside Libray.

dd said...

Sorry Merle, sarcasm has to be hyperbolic. Its just that when I discuss any public benefit (parks, libraries, healthcare, etc) with my conservative friends I always get the same "let the marketplace take care of it" and "not with my taxes" arguments that seem, at least to me to be your mantra. It seems that anytime someone suggests the public pay for some kind of project we're always "picking your pocket" to pay for it. (Sorry, no offense intended.) Does $35 million for updating our library services seem like too much? I don't know. Its kind of like saying that $4.00 a gallon for gas is "excess profit." It depends upon your POV. If the public, through refernda or its elective representatives believe that it is money well spent, then so be it. As an elected county official I am sure you would agree with me that I would rather have local elected bodies spending my (our) taxes as it is at that level that we have more input in the decisions.

Merle Widmer said...

Yes, I know how to spell "library". I just get in a hurry.

Sorry, but I did not take journalism in school. I did occassionally get an "A" in spelling.