Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Voters voted No extra funding for Timberland Libraries

Well that is too bad, because we have a beautifully working library system here in Southwest Washington, one I rely on heavily, and hope the voters didn’t vote the wonderful library services into extinction.

Voters in five Washington counties rejected additional funding for libraries Tuesday

The library-funding proposition passed in Pacific and Mason counties, but was overwhelmingly rejected in Lewis, Thurston and Grays Harbor counties. – Chinook Observer

Relief to see that Pacific County where I live voted more generously, as did Mason County. The more largely populated counties, Lewis, Thurston and Grays Harbor were not feeling as generous.

Given the difficult economic times, and that these counties are mostly considered on a lower economic strata, it is perhaps understandable that some voters did not see the value in an additional $34.00 annual increase in taxes on $200,000 leverl homeowners. But then, for me it would be a bit like the pot calling the kettle black since I overlooked and forgot to vote on this special levy. I would have voted yes, had I remembered to fill out my mail-in ballot.

I use the library services extensively, and welcome that the services are available. I can order on my computer library account whatever the Timberland Library System has available throughout the system in Southwest Washington. My requests are couriered from other libraries in other towns and counties throughout the system to the South Bend Library, where I am given a courtesy phone call, and I can then pick up my requests at the library on the days it is open = 3 days a week. It has worked out well, served me well, and often times when I am into a research project, I might well have an order for 40 or more books at a time.

Timberland Regional Library has 27 community libraries, 5 cooperative library centers, and 2 library kiosks in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties in Southwest Washington State – Timberland Regional Library website.

It’s too bad though, because from the parameters outlined for libraries, it looks like Timberland Regional Library was already fiscally responsive working well under the parameter guidelines; - under state law library districts can assess a tax of up to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Currently, the district is collecting 32.9 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation – The Olympian newspaper.

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