New tax to support libraries is on the ballot in New Orleans

VoteRoughly a decade ago, New Orleans was devastated by one of the biggest natural disasters to ever hit the United States of America:  Hurricane Katrina.  In its wake, not only was the immediate destruction that displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes or worse, but also an impending, ongoing struggle that would plague many of the city’s institutions. [Read more…]

New York Libraries seek $1.1 billion for renovations

DollarsWhat do broken air conditioning units, burst pipes, and leaky ceiling tiles all have in common? They’re all problems commonly plaguing New York’s public libraries, for one. The issues are so prevalent now that city leaders have been forced to compile and release a report documenting the state of the libraries and their budget estimate for the money needed to get them fixed back up. [Read more…]

Palo Alto library funding group to dissolve after fundraising success

Sales ChartPalo Alto is known as a particularly affluent area of California.  It is home to many tech entrepreneurs and was once the headquarters to social networking giant Facebook, the city has its claims to fame.  Despite this, Palo Alto libraries had remained in a relatively sad state for some time.  Most of the libraries a 30 years old or older, and lack the space needed for more modern program areas, or even simple facilities like study rooms.  Some of the branches even lacked air conditioning – a daunting prospect considering that the area regularly receives 90 degree+ days.  Some of the libraries were even shutdown for safety in the event of particularly hot summer weather. [Read more…]

Brooklyn libraries look to development for funding boost

DollarsThe contracting and selling of public lands and projects to private companies is always a touchy issue. The complaints against such arrangements are, to be sure, not without merit; countless times, a company has made promises to a government body, which in turn has promised those same things to its constituents, only to be under-delivered in the end. Even more common, is that an attempt to secure a project leads to under-bidding, and taxpayers end up between a rock and a hard place when they have to choose between shelling out more money and leaving a project halfway finished. Because communities generally don’t want to leave their new park, library, or other public facility halfway finished, they almost always opt to pay up. In a way, private contractors can easily extort government agencies, and by extension the communities they serve. [Read more…]

Ohio libraries open gift shops to help fund operations

DollarsBorrowing a common pool of resources is the way of the library. From books, to CD’s, to computers and Internet usage, libraries offer services to their communities free of charge. These services are then funded by the government, and by extension tax revenue. Unfortunately, the funding libraries have received in recent years hasn’t always been enough. In the midst of economic crunch times, the library systems in each state and the services they offer are often seen as societal extras; they’re nice to have when we can, but not necessary. Unfortunately, tough times are exactly when libraries are most relevant, as community access to learning materials, the Internet, and more may be limited for more and more families due to financial burden. [Read more…]