Anti-Friend of the Library?

madcow writes "If there's such a thing as an "antifriend" of the library, this is it. The beleagured Jackson County (OR) libraries can't get a break.

"An Ashland Realtor who said he could afford the property tax hike from the levy, Rist said he has spent $2,200 of his own money opposing the libraries and expects to spend another $300 before the election is over.""


Ashland (Jackson County actually) has a poulation of 192K in 2004. They passed a 38.9MM dollar bond issue in 2000. To be clear they spent almost thirty nine million dollars on the renovation of 14 library buildings.

This library has 15 branches to serve their population of 192K. That is a mean of 12800 people per branch.

The Jackson county libraries are closed due to lack of funding.

It seems to me that the Jackson county libraries failed to plan for the possible loss of Federal timber fund money, it seems they failed to realize that 15 branches to serve a population of ~200000 people is not fiscally responsible. Read about the building program from the archived Library website.

This was simply poor management, poor planning, poor leadership, and insane priorities.

Now they do have to cover 2081 square miles but still that seems extreme to me. If you drive from the most distant branches the travel is only 64 miles.

I can see why this guy is tired of being taxed. More than 40 million in less than seven years. I could run a really nice system of libraries within a 15 minute drive of almost everyone in the county for half that.

I'd post what the ALA had to say about it but as usual (as I've noticed over the last few weeks) the ALA page is not responding. Nice work.

The guy has a point. I used to work at JCLS, and it was mismanaged, or more to the point, mis-directed. The director, to my knowledge, never tried to force the county leaders, staunch anti-tax types generally, that they were heading over a cliff; she merely kept the books moving, kept building buildings (building = success!), and eventually saw it all crash around her, then she retired. She is the only employee, I'm betting, to have an income now.

Here's the deal: they have a sparse population and tried to extend the library to that population. They overextended.

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