PUBLIC LIBRARIES FOR PROFIT

What in the world is going on?
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Zlatko Waterman
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PUBLIC LIBRARIES FOR PROFIT

Post by Zlatko Waterman » November 29th, 2007, 11:33 am

My wife is a librarian and keeps me well-informed on ALA issues.

Along with the disappearance of some libraries, the neglect of others, this article describes another trend. What do you think?


( article here):


http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/112907P.shtml



--Z

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Doreen Peri
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Post by Doreen Peri » November 29th, 2007, 2:18 pm

I always thought libraries were for-profit for the counties or jurisdictions where they are located, funded by our tax dollars but still in the business of profit for the local government.

I don't understand the difference other than if private enterprise is taking over some of the libraries, and pension plans are being replaced by private 401K plans and salaries are pretty much the same (as the article states), then perhaps these private enterprise companies are doing a good thing by saving libraries which the local govts couldn't continue to fund for whatever reason.

(apologies for the run-on sentences....:))

Enlighten me as to why this is a bad thing? Er, i mean, am I wrong and this is bad thing? What do you think about it? What does your wife think about it?

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Post by Zlatko Waterman » November 29th, 2007, 4:58 pm

Dear Doreen:

I've bookmarked and linked the breakdown in funds supplied by Federal agencies and state agencies for the state of Virginia ( which I think is your state?)


(here)


http://www.ala.org/template.cfm?section ... m&state=va


But please try to investigate some of the questions you might have about funds, employee working conditions, etc.. by looking deeper into the ALA homepage and its indices.

I suppose it depends on what you mean by "for profit."

My take is that collected taxes, impounds etc. are "for survival" and "for reasonable service" rather than "for profit" in the sense that a corporation ( even if publicly traded) like A.T.and T. or WALMART is "for profit."

Personally, I view the for profit corporations taking over public libraries a bit like I view privatizing the police and the army. But many public schools, unable to manage their own affairs, have hired private corporations to manage them-- even here in L.A..

Private corporations are not subject to many regulatory ( and liberating) laws passed by states and the Fed.. This could mean that access to library materials that fall under the rubric of "terrorist-inspired" or "terrorist sympathetic" could be banned by private mangement corporations, to offer only one kind of example. In short, private corps can censor and exclude ( a far more subtle method) library materials with greater impunity. If they decide the Ten Commandments ought to be carved in stone on the front of the library, they may be able to start chipping . . .

And what's wrong with that? ( some would ask . . .)

To see what a really enormous state ( we're really a country at 35 million population) does for funding, click on the California links on the ALA site.

You've read my view-- I posted the article simply because I wanted to start a discussion.

Most of the "truthout.org" articles are left-of-center advocacy pieces . . .

Thanks for taking an interest.

I happen to be a person who believes that there are things the state and the Feds ought to be responsible for-- period. Health care, disaster relief, etc..

But it's easy to see that government ( particularly BUSHKO, but others have, and will, do badly) often seem to get it all wrong.

As I was telling M. last night:

I don't object to someone maintaining ( as GW Bush does) the inerrancy of the holy scriptures. It's when THEIR interpretation of those scriptures is maintained as without error-- and worse, when the errorless interpretation becomes a club with which to beat those who disagree.

Peace and love,


--Z

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Post by stilltrucking » November 29th, 2007, 5:34 pm

Nothing to do with this thread I suppose
but isn't it a shame their is never any good news to start a discussion about.



Hey I just thought of some good news. At least they did not turn the library over to Blackwater.

Where is Andrew Carnegie when we need him?
Over the doors of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, carved in stone, are his own words, "Free to the People."

Freezerbox Magazine - Blood, Sweat and SteelOn Andrew Carnegie and his controversial legacy. ... Was the inhumane treatment of his workers overcompensated by his incredible charity? ...
www.freezerbox.com/archive/article.asp?id=344 - 31k - Cached - Similar pages
Libraries are like temples to me. Have you bowed down and worshipped a librarian today? I think it will hurt the librarians in the long run.

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Post by Zlatko Waterman » November 29th, 2007, 6:49 pm

Postal workers are better armed than librarians, I suppose. But not as well armed as Blackwater.

Two things:

One, the USPS has gotten more expensive and shabbier with semi-privatization. The mail carriers rip and tear my mail every day, and deliver pieces of mail ( like magazines I subscribe to) ripped up from the damned machines they run them through.

Two, the ALA was one of the first organizations to defy the Patriot Act I. They refused ( under Federal order) to turn over lists of who checked out and read what. Private companies have a way of complying with the Feds much more willingly in that regard. Particularly if "throughput" is acellerated by a company policy. They play ball with the GOV-- lobbyist and politician are hand-in-glove.

Even universities have ugly arrangement, at times, with private corps contracted by Uncle Sam to do things like snoop and mine data.

I ended my ten-year support for the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology when I read thorough and detailed substantiation that Cornell was participating in Massive data Mining for Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the other gangs of miscreants.

Torture is "outsourced"; Lawrence Livermore Labs, part of the University of California, provides research and development of atomic weapons. Wesley Clark, who talked of freeing the info sources sealed off from the public by BUSHKO when he was running for president, was a lobbyist
for Acxiom:

(paste)
Consider Clark's response to a query about the lobbying work he did in 2002 and 2003 for an Arkansas-based company called Acxiom. The software firm has developed a product called CAPPS II, which is an airline screening system that gathers information on passengers and color-codes them according to their potential terrorist risk (the name stands for Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System). Clark earned a reported $500,000 for pitching the product to the Transportation Department, the FBI, and the CIA.

Some civil libertarian groups have strongly criticized the CAPPS II system on privacy grounds, and in recent days, the campaign of Sen. John Kerry has attacked Clark for his lobbying. The Los Angeles Times quoted a Kerry spokesman saying recently, "Wes Clark was a high-paid Republican Washington lobbyist who cashed in on his military record."


(end paste from THE NATIONAL REVIEW-- not my favorite magazine, as some of you know . . .)

http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200401230840.asp

Like ST, I would prefer the public libraries to remain sanctuaries of a sort.

I was outraged and nauseated when the Coca Cola trucks-- in large fleets, moved in on the college where I was teaching. Their glowing vending machine signs are the most conspicuous things visible on my old campus at night, and in the morning, the tiny alleys on campus are blocked, even to handicapped students in special vans and wheelchairs, by large corporate COKE trucks so those coke machines can be serviced daily.

Privatization of some things works well.

But libraries are more than a place to "access information."

Among other things, they are the place where, supplemented by state-subsidized colleges, for free, I became a teacher .

--Z
Last edited by Zlatko Waterman on November 30th, 2007, 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by stilltrucking » November 29th, 2007, 7:37 pm

In November, Jackson County residents voted down a property tax levy that would have generated $9 million a year to keep the libraries open. It was the third time since 1984 that voters were asked to bolster the library budget, but the first time they said no.


"Back in November, the feds had not cut us off yet, and the possibility they'd continue to fund us was still there, so people didn't think the libraries were really going to close," said Margaret Jakubcin, a regional manager for the Jackson County Libraries.


Library supporters are trying again. They put an identical property tax levy on the upcoming May ballot. But in order to pass, 50 percent of the registered voters have to participate in the election, and a majority of them have to vote yes
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... N6Q3M1.DTL.

I suppose that means that the property tax failed again.

Seems like they are blaming the closure of on the spotted owls.
Jordan says Congress broke a promise when it cut off the funds -- the money was supposed to be in exchange for land taken away from Oregon by President Theodore Roosevelt.


In the early 1900s, Roosevelt took 2.4 million acres away from the Oregon-California Railroad, which was accused of swindling land deals in exchange for building the railroad. When the federal government reclaimed the land, Oregon lost half its property tax base.


To make up for it, the federal government agreed to split timber revenues on the acreage with Oregon. Over the next 50 years it was a lucrative arrangement, and timber money was used to build courthouses and jails, pave roads and free Oregonians from having to pay sales taxes.


The good times petered out in the early 1990s, when the northern spotted owl was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, all but shutting down large-scale logging. Today, just one large sawmill remains in Jackson County, compared with 91 in 1954.


I wonder who the congressman is for that district? It seems that compared to the billions of dollars being ear marked for pet projects, nine million dollars is a pittance.


If the tax payers don't want to pay for a library, what can we do about it?
Last edited by stilltrucking on November 30th, 2007, 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by e_dog » November 29th, 2007, 10:01 pm

Who needs libraries anyhow? When ye got Barnes n' Borders. Waldenoble, etc.

Communist conspiracy these public 'libraries' are. Where you git books to read...for free? what asilly idea. this is capit'lism, yeah. Pay to read, no borrowing--rent.
I don't think 'Therefore, I am.' Therefore, I am.

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Post by stilltrucking » November 29th, 2007, 10:31 pm

I love libraries as only someone who has been homeless can love them.

They mentioned that the tax initiative was going to be on the ballot in may. I think that was in may of 07, so it must have failed again. Who is to bless, who to blame?

Guns or Butter
Books or Owls

No nude taxes
"Millions For Defense, Not One Cent For Tribute!"
Dem children in jackson county got to learn
Freedom is not free.
Sign up today
Get your army enlistment bonus
buy your own stinking books

The title of this board is What is happening in the world?

Nothing good it seems.
I wonder if IZZY's baby is smiling yet?
I did not know a baby can't smile until about three months.
So we learn to cry before we laugh?

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Zlatko Waterman
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Post by Zlatko Waterman » November 30th, 2007, 1:13 pm

Call me a utopian leftist, and dismiss me as such if you please, but as ST affirms, the homeless know what libraries are for-- the full range of their possibilites.

It's hard to conceive of being in a condition where what is free is essential.

I am relatively safe financially now, but I have been ( and was born) poor.

The fact that libraries, public ones ( and the state college libraries, in which I was welcome even before I was a registered student) are subsidized by the government, state and local ( he reiterated), means they are subject to the work of governing bodies elected by the people.

Do you think Musharraf would have encouraged any library containing works that inveighed against his military/ civilian presidency/hegemonic dictatorship? In Pakistan the general population took to the streets to demand a reinstatement of their constitution, for they have had rich experience with no public recourse against the decisions of politicians and military leaders.

( an interesting link-- not entirely objective, of course-- but pretty sturdy, on the history of democracy in Pakistan-- try some of the hyperlinks too . . .)

http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/004937.php


Libraries can be subversive instruments-- can distribute and encourage dissenting views on government, social structure, military campaigns, and most important of all perhaps, a skeptical, multifaceted series of views on the nature and history of leadership.

Understanding Kennedy's (JFK) attitude toward Cuba in 1961 can help us understand Hugo Chavez today . . .

Knowing the Watergate period of scheming and mendacity by the President and the White House staff can help us understand our current administration . . .

A pardon for Nixon by Gerald Ford can be seen to resemble the pardon for Scooter Libby by G.W. Bush . . .

But if information is "inconvenient" for the private corporation managing public libraries ( because that "corp" has lobbyists seeking favors from the current corrupt administration) , why-- that content mysteriously "might not be available at the moment" from the library.

Consider what censorship was exercised on NPR under the Bush cadre through his friend, the CEO of Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Tomlinson:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?ti ... oadcasting


and CPB is a "private" non- profit corporation.

I have personal experience working as an employee in a county hospital that went from non-profit to profit legal status. The staff ( including, nominally, the MD's-- the only ones who had any fiscal clout) and the care plans and procedures, not to mention labyrinthine insurance permutations, were seriously affected, and not for the better, by that shift.

"For profit" means just that: not reasonable service, not practical service, not humane service, not employee-based service, but PROFITABLE service. Everything is modified to produce profit.

Call me a utopian leftist and dismiss the comments above if you like.


--Z

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Post by e_dog » November 30th, 2007, 1:48 pm

Do you think Musharraf would have encouraged any library containing works that inveighed against his military/ civilian presidency/hegemonic dictatorship? In Pakistan the general population took to the streets to demand a reinstatement of their constitution, for they have had rich experience with no public recourse against the decisions of politicians and military leaders.
Z-man,

sounds like our problem in America is our public libraries, then! We have too many books and not even any action!

Close tha libraries! reinstate tha Draft, its the only Way!
I don't think 'Therefore, I am.' Therefore, I am.

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Post by stilltrucking » November 30th, 2007, 3:11 pm

Those Coca Cola trucks bother me too. for what it is worth.

The bottom line is that the money from the logging is no longer there because of the Northern Spotted Owl. And the people of Jackson county do not wish to pay for libraries. They go on about how important libraries are to rural communties but they keep voting down the taxes to pay for them.


Not to get off topic
Let's draft spotted owls.

This bit here Norman, I guess I will have to research this because it relates to the loss of the property taxes which seems to be the core problem
Oregon suffered a $150 million budget shortfall - and Jackson County a $23 million loss - in fiscal year 2007, after the federal government failed to renew a $400 million annual subsidy designed to help rural communities suffering from the decline in timber-logging revenue.
Does that have anything to do with this
Jordan says Congress broke a promise when it cut off the funds -- the money was supposed to be in exchange for land taken away from Oregon by President Theodore Roosevelt.

In the early 1900s, Roosevelt took 2.4 million acres away from the Oregon-California Railroad, which was accused of swindling land deals in exchange for building the railroad. When the federal government reclaimed the land, Oregon lost half its property tax base.


To make up for it, the federal government agreed to split timber revenues on the acreage with Oregon. Over the next 50 years it was a lucrative arrangement, and timber money was used to build courthouses and jails, pave roads and free Oregonians from having to pay sales taxes.


The good times petered out in the early 1990s, when the northern spotted owl was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, all but shutting down large-scale logging. Today, just one large sawmill remains in Jackson County, compared with 91 in 1954.
So the four hundred million dollars that was cut off was that a seperate program I don't follow that. :?
Last edited by stilltrucking on November 30th, 2007, 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Zlatko Waterman » November 30th, 2007, 3:39 pm

You're not off topic, ST.

The Panglossian logic of e-dog is, however.

Oregon has had trouble with funding public institutions and programs since I was born and grew up there in the forties and fifties.

It has also resisted a sales tax and registered vehicles for very low rates
( compare California, for instance . . .) for a long time.

Check "overview" on this page-- and compare the rate with your state:

http://www.dmv.org/or-oregon/car-registration.php


The Oregon price is 54 dollars/ year

I figured my registration and use taxes here ( in California) for the same vehicle:

$1,740 . . .


Here's the California fee calculator homepage for the California DMV:

https://mv.dmv.ca.gov/FeeCalculatorWeb/ ... ulation.do


Here's the information on Oregon's sales tax:

(paste)


State Sales Tax

All states except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon, collect sales taxes. Some have a single rate throughout the state though most permit local additions to the base tax rate. Those states with a single rate include Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

( end paste)

the information above is found here:


http://www.retirementliving.com/RLtaxes.html

California's sales tax is the highest of any state.





--Z

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Post by stilltrucking » November 30th, 2007, 7:16 pm

Panglossian

Wow, like groucho's duck just came down with the secrete word

I had to google it. I feel like I finished my senior thesis.


Sounds like something I would do.

e-dog is hurting, me too .

I said that about the draft a couple of weeks ago,

But i am an old man nobody going to draft me

and I can't wish that on nobodies child

now I am getting off off topic

I was googling for a picture of groucho's duck to post here

and I found this which has nothing to do with this thread either but I thought it was an interesting blog. It is called The Quaker's Colonel Blog.

I am always a sucker for anything with the word Quaker in it.

It was written in January of 2007 but it is still timely

The magic word for the republicans these days is "victory"

There is no magic word for Iraq

e-dog thinks the magic word is the draft.

I can feel his pain
That sounds sarcastic but believe me it is not.

All I can remember about Oregon is how much they disliked people from California. I live in Texas, a world unto itself. No state income tax here but they make it up in other ways, believe me. Right now they are in the process of trying to privatize the interstates and make them toll roads.

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Post by Zlatko Waterman » December 1st, 2007, 1:50 pm

Dear ST and all:

I admit to being guilty of nostalgia. You call yourself an old man routinely, ST, but I am old also. I have a savor in me, which hasn't vanished, of my adventures in the stacks of the old Chico State College library in 1964 ( when I was 19). I was in love. With books, and even more, what they suggested-- a world of the past, present and future-- and conversations with Eliot, Auden, S.T. Coleridge and Spengler-- whether the West had declined, would decline or might decline didn't matter. It still doesn't. But that book and others like it did matter.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Spengler


Recently, when I've talked this thread and its contents over with M., my wife, she has affirmed to me that the library's ( public , college, etc.) books go un-checked-out-- they simply aren't used. If it wasn't for free Internet connections, the public libraries might stand nearly empty-- except for the homeless sheltering from the rain and snow-- and maybe even reading books, or at least magazines and newspapers.

The statistics required by the California State Accreditation Commissions'
inspection of California colleges, gauging book check-outs and users stats are no longer required. They were considered indispensable up until about two years ago.

As I testified elsewhere and upset some members of this community ( notably Deb in the Bay Area), it is a simple truth that students download their essays from the Internet, cut and paste, hand the papers in, neat and tidy-- and get an automatic B or A.

I do not exaggerate. I spent thirty years and more in the system I describe, 30-40 hours per week, and my wife is still working every day in her 33rd year there.

Books aren't used in many colleges. Many public libraries stay open only because of free Internet service.

Here endeth the utterances of a utopian liberal ex-teacher.

--Z

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Post by e_dog » December 1st, 2007, 4:03 pm

we have many public libraries and no revolution. what good, then?



[look i'm settin you up to wax philoophic bout public libraries--heck me'd nevered know'd tha beats without it, tha library datis.]
I don't think 'Therefore, I am.' Therefore, I am.

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