Should taxpayer money be spent on novels, electronic books, movie DVDs and music CDs?

County Commissioner Jeff Carlson suggested on June 2 the library computers should be for research, not entertainment, and that Highlands County libraries should buy fewer popular novels.

Should taxpayer money be spent on novels, electronic books, movie DVDs and music CDs? How do you use the library? Reporter Gary Pinnell is writing about the issue. If you can contribute to the story, please e-mail gpinnell@highlandstoday.com, or call 386-5828.

You can hear Commissioner Carlson's remarks here:

The State Funding he mentions that he feels the library doesn't need is referenced Here.

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Buying multiple copies

In his comments Commissioner Carlson mentions the library buying multiple copies of popular works. In a 2007 article about the BEA called BEA Journal—How Libraries Buy it mentions that not all publishers are aware that libraries buy multiple copies.

Excerpt from "How Libraries Buy" ....that too many publishers foolishly assume that libraries only buy single copies, while actually they regularly buy multiple copies of bestsellers and stock up on event blockbusters like the “Harry Potter” series, with libraries buying as many as 100 copies to ensure that all the little (and big) Potter nerds all get a ticket to Hogwarts heaven at the stroke of 12 on the debut date.

The BEA article also has another quote that relates to the issue of popular items in libraries:

Leslie Burger, American Library Association (ALA) president and Princeton PL director, said that librarians need to refocus on their core business of books, that they’ve gotten “sidetracked into thinking that that our main mission was as information providers,” and while she was pleased by the wonderful reference resources libraries have created, “it’s books that create community.”

The views of Leslie Burger and Commissioner Carlson are polar opposites. Important issue because the Commissioner Carlsons of the world effect library funding.

"I'm not fighting against the library..."

yes, he is... because he doesn't understand what public libraries are for... even Beaver Cleaver went to watch movies at his library (probably)... I don't know what his point is, but he has an agenda to cut the library budget and cutting fiction and entertainment is his way of disguising his plan. libraries have been in the entertainment business for 100 years (at least)... ever since the invention of moveable type when the eunuchs put down their pens and libraries could acquire multiple copies of books.

"...and other things..." I think he said that 10 times... not sure what that means since "and other things" was used as reference to positive and negative comments.

Statistics Speak for Themselves

I have to say that taxpayers money needs to be spent on how the taxpayers want it to be spent....In that manner, we look at our monthly and yearly circulation statistics: Ours tell us that the taxpayers in our community want: Audiobooks and Movies, Easy books and children's fiction, then adult fiction....just like that we know.

As for public computers...we only have 6, because most of the households in this community have no less than 2 computers of their own. Most of our users are from outside our community.....and the neighboring libraries have up to 30 public access internets to satisfy their users' demands.

"County Commissioner Jeff Carlson suggested on June 2 the library computers should be for research, not entertainment, and that Highlands County libraries should buy fewer popular novels" I suggest that Carlson look at the actual usage statistics for the library....then make suggestions on how to spend the taxpayer's money.

As for "that too many publishers foolishly assume that libraries only buy single copies"...where does that assumption come from? All a publisher has to do is look at their account with a book broker such as Baker & Taylor (that is a number one source for library purchases) and they'd know who buys what.

What shortsighted individuals.....

>^..^<

One comment

Everyone thinks they are qualified to run the library because we are open to the public and it seems like a task anyone should be able to perform. This is uninformed and unfortunate, but I don't see a way to combat that perception.

The commissioner is trying to run the library and is appealing to whatever group is considered his constituency.

Obviously the commission chair is supportive of other commissioners. The library rep didn't appear to have friends in the room. Something I wouldn't know how to handle. Got to say something, but you know your going to be slapped by the commission.

I would think the best thing to do is ignore the meeting and start with your advocates putting together a campaign to show the commission that the library has fans. The library can't fight this effectively. Only the patrons can.

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