Prescott, AZ considering charging for public library use

PRESCOTT - With the goal of improving the city's financial condition topping its list of priorities this week, the Prescott City Council focused heavily on the need for new user fees.

Up for discussion at the council's Friday goal-setting retreat were new fees for everything from the Prescott Public Library to public parks and trails.

The retreat, which took place at the downtown public library, featured a full day of discussion with facilitators Albert and Jodie Filardo, who led the council in a variety of priority-setting exercises.

City Councilman Steve Blair kicked off the user-fee discussion, even as he acknowledged that he likely would be "tarred and feathered" for bringing it up.

Blair suggested that fees for the library could generate several hundred thousand dollars per year, which he said could help the city to hire more police officers.

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This is so wrong... the public already paid for library services - in taxes. If you start charging people to use the public library, it's no longer a public library. Stupid.

The idea of charging for library services that are already being paid for through taxes is questionable. The council people that proposed the library fees want to use the proceeds to hire police personnel for the city.

So it wasn't just the Kiwis facing this sort of a proposition? Lovely...
Stephen Michael Kellat, MSLS

This is a well-off community. Why don't they do some serious fundraising? There are many retirees, etc.

The article doesn't mention the state of the library's budget. I'm not advocating fees, but f there are services which aren't going to be paid for (e.g. materials, staffing cuts) from the library budget, then any money from "fees" should go back to the library. Let the police have their own "fees" or fundraisers.

When I read the whole article, it sounded like at least one of the council members was hoping to impose fees for WALKING IN THE DOOR OF THE LIBRARY, not just using library services. Can't think of the last time I heard of something so backward. Thank goodness I live in the Midwest.