You gotta pay to play

Edit: Thanks to Chris you can now email the city of Prescott on your reasons why libraries and other educational sources should be free by clicking here.
A friend of mine posted this link on Twitter. Basically the town is out of money and is considering charging townspeople for the usage of the library, trails, and some parks. Yeah the economy is bad. We are all well to aware of that.

The library and parks are one of the last few places where you can relax with your family, and your dog. The library provides a haven for teens, children and adults to pursue literacy at no cost to themselves. Again the economy is bad so why stick it to your patrons. If my library begins charging to rent books out I will just buy the books, or read less. Is this really what people want to ruin a system that is old and loved? Do you want your children reading less or doing less activity in your parks? Especially when there is a lack of children who want to read instead of game, or want to do outside activity instead of using media.

This is a ridiculous way to boost your towns economy. Come off of it. Leave the library and the open parks alone. Cut your own salary town manager.

What do you think?

12 Responses so far

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    I agree. If times are hard, people need the free services of the library even more. It was pitiful to read him say that there were 2000 people in the library and not paying a cent. It was like he was outraged. Good grief!

  2. Gravatar

    This statement is so telling regarding his complete disconnect from reality:

    “I actually consider this library as a luxury, because you do not need it to live.”

    Does it really need to be repeated time and time again that education is paramount to societal success? Moreover, does Hanna actually think that eliminating an education resource could EVER do anyone any good?

    I disagree, Pam, he shouldn’t cut his paycheck, he should simply fire himself. He is clearly not interested in the well-being of the community or the promotion of critical items like education

    As bad as all that, he says “they’re not paying a thing,” implying TAXPAYERS aren’t PAYING for PUBLICLY FUNDED resources like libraries. If I were in his jurisdiction, I’d be tempted to firebomb his house.

  3. Gravatar

    Side note, if you would like to tell Mr. Hanna how you feel about his statements directly, you can do so here:

    Funny, they won’t share their e-mail addresses, but they REQUIRE yours. Hmm….

  4. Gravatar

    linked up :P thanks Chris!

  5. Gravatar

    I totally agree that libraries should be free, but as a librarian, I understand where the council is coming from.

    It’s expensive to run a library, and with property taxes declining and donations declining and prices increasing, it’s even more expensive. My library just had to close our only branch and cut our budget pretty heavily in order to stay afloat for this year. It’s a really, really tough balancing act.

    However, charging for the library isn’t right, especially when someone lives in the area already covered by the library. Those people pay their taxes, so charging them to use the library is just charging them double.

  6. Gravatar

    Our library actually already charges you to check out books and have a library card. It’s one of the reasons I don’t use it a lot, because I can generally find the books used somewhere for very close to what I would pay after fees (and possibly fines from being overdue).

    In addition to paying for a lot at our library you also can only access it during very limited hours. It’s only open 5 days a week (not Sun. and Mon.) and it closes at 5 on weekdays. On Saturdays, the day you think it should be open the longest, it’s only open until 2pm. It’s pretty pitiful. Don’t even get me started on the book selection either.

    I understand the whole economy thing, but isn’t that technically why we pay taxes? So, we can have some of these luxuries? It’s just too bad, because I think a lot of people who just cannot afford “luxuries” like reading are missing out on some of our greatest treasures in life.

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    The town next to mine is starting to charge for access to its parks for use of the gazebos and picnic areas ($60 per hour). Each county also requires us to pay a fee (albeit a very small one) to access the county park systems. I do not mind the county ones because of the fact that the fee is so minimal. However, the town charging to be able to use their picnic facilities is a bit ridiculous, in my opinion. Isn’t the point of having such sites so that it is family-friendly and a place for anyone to socialize? In charging such a large fee for one hour, I think they are automatically limiting who can and will now access the parks.

    As for libraries, do not get me started on charging for use there. Isn’t that the point of late fees? Are people (i.e. government cogs) trying to prevent society from enjoying itself or improving itself? What truly enrages me is that these same people will then go out and try to drum up ideas for making their communities more family-friendly and close-knit. How about not charging for everything?

  8. Gravatar

    If governments wouldn’t pump all our tax money into stupid wars and bailouts to sponsor the bonuses of bank executives none of this would be necessary.

  9. Gravatar

    I can feel my blood boil at this. I mean let’s not encourage literacy, instead let’s have kids sit at home in front of the tv since the parents won’t buy books, and won’t give the kid money to spend at the library.

    OH my god this pisses me off, maybe because I can relate to relying on the library for books when I was younger and money-less. Being able to borrow from the library helped me expand my vocabulary and knowledge, as well as kept down on tv time. Also, it was a nice quiet place to escape.

    How dare they take that from any body? Especially the taxpayers.

  10. Gravatar

    A city not far from us is just closing down almost all of it’s public services, included maintenance for the parks. They literally told everyone if they want the parks to be watered and mowed, they’ll have to do it themselves!

    Personally I think their city is going to become crapsville. Who wants to live in a place where no one gives a hoot about how their city looks or that doesn’t support it’s cultural life–or can’t even pay for a police department?!?! A community is a community because the support that goes into programs like that; otherwise you might as well live on a desert island all by yourself.

  11. Gravatar

    My library charges us money for each day we “rent” a new book. I understand budget problems but, at the same time, I know they just dropped A LOT of money on a drive-up book drop (while locking up all the other book drops that were available for us non-car-owning folks). The mind boggles.

  12. Gravatar

    Just a little afterthought. I know the museums in London are free. I don’t know about the rest of the UK but the city museums are free to the public. Tourist or not.

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