Case in point: this Fox Chicago piece proposing that Illinois shut down its library system:
But keeping libraries running costs big money. In Chicago, the city pumps $120 million a year into them. In fact, a full 2.5 percent of our yearly property taxes go to fund them.I also always open my library talks with a joke: "You know, with library budgets on the chopping block and Wall Street thriving, there's only one answer: securitize bonds based on library fines!"
That's money that could go elsewhere - like for schools, the CTA, police or pensions
One of the nation's biggest and busiest libraries is the $144-million Harold Washington Library in the Loop. It boasts a staggering 5,000 visitors a day!.
Once again, Fox comes through:
We know we spend a lot on them. But libraries do bring in some revenue: more than $2 million in fines is collected annually by Chicago public libraries.Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money? (Thanks, Scott!)
(Image: St. Thomas Public Library, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from bluefootedbooby's photostream)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.