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A bit of nice news from the Steel City, where voters today approved a ballot initiative for an additional property tax of .25 mils...the equivalent of 25¢ per $1000 of assessed value...to support the city's library system.

The tax passed by a 2 to 1 margin and should raise about $3 million annually for the city's libraries.

http://www.post-gazette.com/...

Certainly this doesn't compare in importance to other big elections of today; the defeat of Kasich's union busting in Ohio; the defeat of the embryo amendment in Mississippi; the recall of Pearce in Arizona; the victory of Mathis in Iowa.

Still, it is heartwarming to see the people of my hometown to vote in favor of a small tax upon themselves to support a public service they consider important.

And perhaps some Blue Dogs can see in this vote a sign that despite their fears not all their constituents are opposed to all taxes all the time.

Friends & neighbors, I applaud you.

(Also, the Democratic nominee for County Executive overwhelmed his Republican opponent.  Not a surprise...and not a great candidate...but better than the alternative.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is MORE important than other issues (6+ / 0-)

     
    When we lose their minds, we lose our future.

     

    Liberals see George Orwell's 1984 as a cautionary tale. Conservatives see it as a blueprint.

    by DiegoUK on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:26:48 PM PST

  •  Having lived in PGH for a year (7+ / 0-)

    I can tell you that Pittsburghers LOVE their Carnegie library system.  And their Steelers.

  •  Libraries will get you through times of no money (6+ / 0-)

    better than money will get you through times of no libraries

       - H.D. Thoreau,  a first rate Occupier.

    •  Love this quote! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nuclear winter solstice

      It is now on my ever-growing list of words to remember.  :-)

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 05:03:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Was that Thoreau? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nuclear winter solstice

      I thought it was Freewheelin' Frank!

      "Those are my principles...if you don’t like them I have others." Groucho Marx

      by Notthemayor on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 07:13:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I had to look it up to see who it was from. (0+ / 0-)

        It's on a poster on the door of the library where I work but I hadn't really paid attention.
            Ad you should see it happen- if something occurs in town like a layoff or a power failure, we are the first to know because we can provide everything from a computer to a bathroom. Everyone shows up to see what happened and use the facilities.
            I still like books though....

        •  Anne Herbert (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nuclear winter solstice

          "Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."
          --Anne Herbert (1950- ), U.S. writer, quoted in The Next Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools, ed. Stewart Brand (1980), p. 331.

          Apparently the quote was a play on the motto of Gilbert Shelton's Freewheelin' Frank, one of his Freak Brothers,
          "Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope."

          She's best known for the quote "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty."

          "Those are my principles...if you don’t like them I have others." Groucho Marx

          by Notthemayor on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:09:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Just north of the 'burg (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stwriley

    in  Erie, we do things to discourage people from using the library.  For instance, the public housing complexes have had large computer rooms with 20 to 30 computers in them for the residents to use 8 hours a day.  They payed a man to be in charge, run the program and fix the computers.  Because of budget cuts it was axed.  While I hate to see someone lose a job, I also want the residents to have access to the internet.  The library has a large computer area also.  The bus system has many routes with stops at the library.  It is simply a waste of community resource to have copmputer labs all over and have a few people in them all times.  I hope this will increase library usage and garner some funds to keep the computer lab up to date and in good shape.  Maybe some will look at all the rows of books and decide to check some out.  Great job Pittsburgers!

    And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

    by tobendaro on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 04:45:24 AM PST

    •  The problem is... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tobendaro, ahumbleopinion

      it shouldn't be an either/or choice between these two things. If you want more efficiency in providing both these things to the citizenry, then have the library system manage the computer rooms as branch locations; they could remain more computer-focused, you could also provide access to all the library's electronic resources and you could provide books both from a limited local collection and by transfer from the rest of the system. You're paying the same number of people and providing services more efficiently to a set of the population that needs it most but has the hardest time using it.

      It's also good to remember that there's often very high demand for computer access at libraries (I know that the branches here in Philly get swamped all the time and must restrict the computer time any one patron can have to ensure access for everyone.) Giving the people most likely to use those resources (those too poor to have computers or internet access on their own) an alternative that does so more efficiently seems to me to be the way to go. That you can also bring them other services that are now less accessible is a bonus.

      Conservito delenda est pro is deleo orbis terrarum!

      by Stwriley on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 05:31:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes to the branches (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley

        getting hubs.  Our library computers are not swamped.  That was my beef.  We are paying for extra computers getting little usage and people to keep them going.  My disabled niece was sad to see the computer room closed but she only used it in the event she did not have access to her phone with internet.  I want to see the library become the center of access because we constantly have to fight to keep the library.  The r's around here want to ax it to save money.  Presently they want to sell a painting by a famous artist that has been in the library since the early 1900's to get money for the county's general fund.

        And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

        by tobendaro on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 05:55:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Consolidation sounds like the answer then. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tobendaro

          Putting the computer rooms' gear and personnel into the existing branches may be the best way for Erie. I'm married to a librarian, so access is always my first thought, but if the resources are as likely to be used as otherwise, then it makes sense to concentrate for efficiency. It also has the same advantage I'd implied for the other idea above; the library system gets new (well, fairly new anyway) resources without having to buy them.

          Conservito delenda est pro is deleo orbis terrarum!

          by Stwriley on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 06:38:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They're simultaneously trying to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stwriley

            shut down branches to save money.

            The way things work in Erie, the only reason the above mentioned low income housing computer program exists is because the guy in charge of it is friends with an elected official, and asked for a job. He probably knows little about computers, and in all likelihood, the repair and maintenance are outsourced to another friend of an elected official.  

            "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

            by CFAmick on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:55:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Another reason to love (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notthemayor

    Pittsburgh!  I've told the story many times of my one visit to your city.  I was there for a convention and it was the best travel experience of my life.  I even had serious car trouble and found an honest mechanic!

    Good job, Pittsburgh!

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 05:07:46 AM PST

  •  'Burghers Understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notthemayor

    The value of the Carnegie system can not be understated.  Branches are significant neighborhood assets.  This modest tax, approximately the value of one book, ensures that the Carnegie system remains relevant and current.

    Now, go out there and get that 7th Super Bowl!!

  •  Same in Whitehall Township, PA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notthemayor

    A township near me, upper middle class suburban area, approved a library tax as well.  Whitehall Township is also willing to pay a small additional tax, I assume because they still believe that learning is a good thing.

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