May 29, 2011

Open Houses, Open Thread, Not So Open Libraries

Isn’t everyone on vacation?  No?  Well, you can worry about this, then.

April 29, 2011

Santa Clara County Library Authority to Charge New Library Card Fee for Non-Residents of Library District

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.‑ In response to dramatic reductions in State funding and an increasing demand for library services, on Thursday the Santa Clara County Library District Joint Powers Authority approved an $80 annual library card fee for non-residents of the District, effective July 1, 2011.

Since 1988, the State has reimbursed public libraries for lending materials to non-residents of their district, and any resident of California could get a card at any public library in the state. Demands for service have increased to a point that the Santa Clara County Library District lends far more books to non-residents than District residents borrow from other libraries. At one time, the Library received over $2 million annually to partially reimburse the cost of this service.

In the midst of an increasing deficit, the Governor’s proposed budget includes the elimination of $30.4 million in state funding for three of California’s most valuable public library programs: The Public Library Foundation, the California Literacy Program and the Transaction Based Reimbursement, a cooperative system of borrowing and loaning books that has existed statewide for several decades. The State Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 eliminates all funding for public libraries, including those that are part of the Santa Clara County Library District.

Bet you skimmed the article and thought, okay, they’re dinging nonresidents of the County for using the libraries.  But that’s not what it said.

Cough up another $80 even if you live in Santa Clara County but happen to have picked one of the cities that didn’t ally with the County Library System.  Those unlucky cities, for those of you foolish enough to have chosen where to live without researching your library services first, are:

  • Los Gatos
  • Mountain View
  • Palo Alto
  • San Jose
  • Santa Clara
  • Sunnyvale

You free-riders have been using the Country Library System long enough without paying extra property taxes.  No more!  The party is over on July 1st.  Now if you try to check a book out of a County Library, you’ll be called out as the illegal aliens you are!

But don’t worry, since it’s a holiday weekend, the libraries are probably all closed!  So go check out some Open Houses and let us know what’s HOT!  Or use this Open Thread to bring up anything at all, like you’re working too hard to go on vacation.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:43 am

7 Responses to “Open Houses, Open Thread, Not So Open Libraries”

  1. Real Estater Says:

    And Los Altos Library will charge $80 for Palo Alto users.

    I think it’s a good solution. We are better off if each city residents use their own libraries and parks.

    Eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Mitchell Park Library and community center next year.

  2. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    I avoid libraries for borrowing books unless it’s a book I REALLY want to read and I’m sure I can get it back to them in a week, the late fees have become crazy lately. It’s cheaper for me to buy books at garage sales or from the Friends Of The Library book sale sections most libraries have.

  3. madhaus Says:

    Los Gatos and Palo Alto vs Los Altos and Saratoga! Which is more RBA, in the Library District or out?

  4. nomadic Says:

    I only got a library card this year in the hopes of checking out ebooks online.

  5. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    You can use a library card to check out ebooks?

    I’m working on learning the ukulele and there’s a lot online but there’s no substitute for good old printed books.

  6. madhaus Says:

    #5, sounds like a job for a computer-based curriculum with videos and testing.

    #1, Los Altos is part of the county system, and would charge the $80 fee to any non-Library District resident, including Palo Alto. So your report is utterly superfluous. Your preference for Balkanization of services does not surprise.

  7. nomadic Says:

    #5, yes, at least you can with the Los Gatos library. It works a lot like traditional books too: if they only have one license/copy, you have to go on a waiting list until someone else checks the ebook back in (or their loan period expires).

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