More bad news, this time from Spokane

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This has been a long convoluted tale from Spokane, Washington. The Spokane County Library District, where I got my start in the library biz as a page and later as a circ clerk, and which still employs my mom, has been battling with the newly incorporated City of Spokane Valley over library services. Spokane Valley got bids for library services from the County District and from a private company. The city decided to go with the District, as they have ever since there's been a library in the area, but then told the District a few days later that they had to lower their price or get nothing. So, without the traditional revenue from Spokane Valley, the Spokane County Library District faces layoffs and budget cuts, and the 85,000 residents of Spokane Valley will be without library service at all. If you want to help these people out, and maybe help save my mom's job, read on below for more info, contact names and email addresses...Here is an opportunity to help keep at least one library open.

Below is a letter describing the situation, but I just want to
add that this citizen group in the City of Spokane Valley has
just successfully fought off their city council's attempt to
privatize library services.

In retribution, the city council now wants to renegotiate it's
contract with Spokane County Library District in such a fashion
that SCLD would have no choice but to close Valley libraries.

Please read the appeal below and send messages to the mayor and
city manager, and to the one city council member who supports
citizen efforts to retain the county library services their
community has long enjoyed. The city _has_ the money, but the
majority of the city council wants to close a public
library because they lost their attempt to privatize.

Thank you so much for your support.

Elaine Harger
Councilor-at-Large

LETTER FROM CITIZENS OPPOSING PRITAVIZATION AND LIBRARY CLOSING IN CITY OF
SPOKANE VALLEY, WASHINGTON

We're writing to people who care about libraries to bring them up to date
regarding recent developments.

If the Spokane County Library District (SCLD) doesn't have a contract with
the City of Spokane Valley by December 1st, they are beginning the
procedures necessary to close the Valley library permanently at the end of
December.

SCLD has been forced into this decision by their need to treat all patrons
of the county-wide system equally. All the property-tax payers of SCLD
are paying $.50 per $1000 of assessed property value. The Council members
of the City of Spokane Valley want to base their contract with SCLD on
usage only. Besides the extreme difficulty in calculating this usage,
SCLD needs to treat all communities equally, not charge anyone less or
more.

In addition to the Valley library closing, if you live in the City of
Spokane Valley you will not be able to use ANY library in the area - not
in the County system or in the City of Spokane.

Be sure to note the current SCLD contract doesn't require you to pay more
in taxes, as these taxes are already being collected. Also, the City of
Spokane Valley has the money in their 2005 budget to fully fund the SCLD
contract.

If this is disturbing news to you please join us in taking action. Write,
call or email the Spokane Valley City Council and the City staff. Write
letters to the editor. Ask your neighbors and friends to do the same.
Have your children write.

If you are willing to put up signs, wave signs at street corners, or
attend the City Council meeting on November 30th, please call or email us.
If you have any other ideas to convince the City Council to sign a
contract with SCLD based on assessed property value please let us know.

We only have until December 1st! We are including addresses and phone
numbers at City Hall. Please feel free to call us at 922-2960 with
questions. Additional background and information is available at all SCLD
libraries and at their website, http://www.scld.org under the heading
"SPOTLIGHT: Board Directs Staff to Prepare Contract, Develop Contingency
Plans."

Sincerely, Mayo and Larry Sayrs

PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR CONCERN TO:

Spokane Valley City Hall
11707 E Sprague Ave, Suite 106
Spokane Valley, WA 99206
921-1000

Michael DeVleming, Mayor
[email protected]

Nina Regor---Deputy City Manager
509-688-0183
[email protected]

Mike Flanigan. City Council Member & Library Supporter
[email protected]

Comments

This sounds remarkably similar to what's happening in my locality, as reported here and here.

Is this becoming a trend? By that I mean, are more and more city councils and related bureaucracies willing to hold their constituents' library services hostage? All to bully the library into providing cheaper services even though I know of few libraries which aren't strapped for cash? This is insanity. It's almost as if the bureaucrats don't want educated and well informed citizenry. And if that is indeed the case, then we have some real problems on the horizon, friends.

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