Free Library Services?
By Robert D. Warner
February 14, 2006
I always enjoy the SitNews articles written by freelance writer
Marie Monyak. These articles provide both depth and excellent
analysis on local issues that are frequently overlooked by other
sources. Once in a while I notice something that might not be
exactly accurate, but it does make one stop to think and sometimes
smile or laugh.
In a recent article describing a visit to Ketchikan by a touring
author, services at the Ketchikan Public Library were described
as being "free." Are they?
Apparently services at the Ketchikan Public Library have never
been free. Even when the library first opened its doors in 1901,
a membership fee of 25 cents per month was required to use the
library. Conditions are quite different today, but library services
are certainly not free. Taxpayers are now charged for library
operations and staffing.
The last time I looked I noticed that the Ketchikan Public Library
is one of the most expensive libraries to operate in Alaska in
relation to the size of the community served. Have you ever
Many small and medium sized public libraries in Alaska have
active volunteer groups that provide essential staffing services
that sharply reduce personnel costs. Ketchikan Public Library
does not; it depends almost entirely on a generously paid staff
to provide library services and also entertainment for kids.
Yes, we might be "free" to use the library, but we
have to pay for it whether we use it or not!
Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK - USA
About: Robert D. Warner has been a Ketchikan resident since 1972
and he is a retired UAS Ketchikan faculty member.
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
Winning Author Visits Ketchikan By MARIE L. MONYAK - The
Ketchikan Public Library recently hosted author Pam Houston who
gave a short presentation and a reading from her first and most
recent novel Sighthound which was published in January
of 2005. - More...
Monday PM - February 13, 2006
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
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