What kind of library do we want for our community?

I was visiting the Evansville Observer and see several posts about the EFPL- Eager Free Public Library.  There are several posts about EFPL.

To the fact they have limited funds and should they? ( of course there has to be a limit as to how much money we tax payers give them.)  Should Friends of the Eager Free Library being picked up the tab for things like shelves and security systems.  I will state right off I question the true need for a security system.   We all want things , but is there a true need for something like that?

In on of the posts it talks about how some of the books were paid for(accounting error really?) and questioning how this next year’s books will be paid for.

QUITE  honestly the library needs to do some SERIOUS FUND RAISING.   THEY can not expect the community to fork over funds for every last thing.

IN the age of internet, kindle’s and ease of use of other libraries just how big of a library do we need?

Our family quite often gets books from other libraries.  BUT we get books from other libraries THROUGH the EFPL  which does support them.   My daughter also has a very cute kindle that she uses a lot.    But we also use the Janesville Library, its a short drive and it is very nice.   But look of the size of the community and surrounding communities it supports.

A concern of mine is when/if the EFPL expands and they are clearly bigger, is the city going to allow them a bigger budget?   Is money always going to continue to be a issue?   I think some answers need to be given before library plans expand to far.

I question the usage at EFPL  is it down from years past?   My guess is yes.  Because I was talking with a staff member there about how some of their revenue is generated and yes it is down.  So if we are seeing a decline in library usage over the last several years , and may continue to do so based on there are so many alternatives to getting books, internet, kindles, other libraries just how big of a library does this town need.

IF our city council is going to allow an expansion to go through, they better plan on supporting it with some moola.

IF they are not going to support it, then plans for an expansion need to stop now.  I really don’t see it as being necessary, it is a want not a need,  with money as tight as it is common sense needs to prevail.

I am sure regardless if the library expands or not we will continue to use the Evansville library and order books from other libraries through EFPL,  it only takes a day or two to get the book you order.  But we will also continue to use the internet, Kindle, and other libraries.  There are just so many resources to use besides just the community library its silly not take advantage of them all.

check out the Observer



2 Responses to “What kind of library do we want for our community?”

  1. I will start with saying that I have followed your blog and the Observer’s blog for several years and have never taken the time to comment, I just enjoy reading what you offer. I have worked for the State of Wisconsin for twenty years. (yes I am one of those employees) I have had to run my dept for the last five years with no pay raises, a hiring freeze for the last two years, and no increase in our budget for the last four years. We have learned to do more with less, and that is exactly what Kathi Kemp and the library needs to do.

    I was reading the articles on the Evansville Observer about the issues with the Eager Free Public Library.
    I find it quite concerning they are not staying within their budget. If they are having to come and ask for more money, if other sources are paying for their needs, books, repairs etc.. they are not staying within their budget.

    These are all things that should come directly from the library budget. I have serious questions about how the library is being run. I am different than you in the fact that I do not believe a larger library is needed.

    I have used the E.F.P.L before I am not impressed with Kathi Kemp at all. I have watched her interact with people, and unless she has someone to impress she comes across as very snotty and short with people.

    I once heard her say to someone “To work in a library you have to be very precise , very detail orientated.” YET they are missing 1000.00? due to a accounting error according to the post on the Evansville Observer and this friends of the library had to pick up the tab?

    That is inexcusable on the library’s part, and it falls directly on the librarian, there should be no ordering of anything if you do not have the money. Maybe the library needs to start paying for things as they are ordered and not on credit.

    The author of some of these posts, Fred Jergens suggests we contact our alder person or city and let them know they should support the library more. I have contacted my alderpersons and I told them enough is enough.

    Everyone standing there with their hand out instead of living with what they have.

    Friends of the Library should go back to funding only things they intended to fund when they started their group.
    It is the librarians job and responsibility to make the budget work, not for her to go fishing for more money from any one she can.

    No more money to the library.. no larger library not when as you pointed out there are many resources to use besides the library. They are large enough and costing taxpayers enough as it is.

    Our family uses, internet, kindle, buying books we really want, and book swaps. WE use the library occasionally not like we used to. Sorry libraries are not as in ‘demand’ as they once were and the Eager Free Library needs to adjust to the changing needs of our society and this library seems to be stuck in a rut like a pig, who wants someone to bail them out.
    They need to get off of their hind ends and do some fund raising as you suggested.

    Sincerely ,

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