Shared publicly  - 
The bad news: state funding for California public libraries has been completely eliminated.

The good news: taxes on millionaires have not been raised. That would hurt the economy.

True, Roberta Stevens says: "What will happen to the thousands of people who depend on libraries as a lifeline while they look for jobs and improve their skills to be competitive in today’s job market? U.S. public libraries are first responders in a time of economic uncertainty … Every service hour lost in our libraries translates into a million lost opportunities to connect people to distance education, unemployment benefits, and other e-government services." But what does she know? She's just the head of the American Library Association. She's obviously biased. It's the millionaires who create jobs. The rest of us just work.
John Baez's profile photoToby Bartels's profile photoBrian Morris's profile photoJohnny King's profile photo
What about all the research that shows for every $1 the state invests in education (including libraries) it gets (at least) $3 back?
I wrote 2009 a cabaret about when oil price is again at US$100.

I wrote that gasoline will be more important than education in this cabaret.

Sorry that's all true.

US trade deficit = 14 million barrel oil imports per day * US$100 * 365 days.

US has to built up an domestic oil replacing industry. Every litre imported oil is paid by debts. But instead of saving oil, the save money at the education.
and in other news, certain publishers are refusing to allow their e-books to be licensed for library use...
But those poor political figures are starving and what did libraries ever do for us..
They've already closed many of the state parks. The prisons, however, seem to get infinite funding. If they would just defund the police we could end the homeless problem. It would be easy to occupy vacant residences.
Anche in italia abbiamo questo problema,i giovani non trovano lavoro e ivecchi devono lavorare fino a 65 anni,i ricchi sono sempre più ricchi e i poveri aumentano. Siamo sempre alle solite i governi aiutano sempre i poteri forti
Limiting access to knowledge. Yet another box ticked.
Time to reclaim the libraries for the public! Our library is allvolunteer run, and works on donations from the people, directly, notgovernment. It is community run, community funded, and is awesome!

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
This is what happens when the citizens of the state vote for themselves every social program under the sun and then refuse to raise their own taxes to pay for them. Somethings gotta give.
They need a millionaire Carnegie/type philanthropist whose yearly profits alone probably exceed the libraries costs by millions. Surely - in California ...
Why the passive voice? Whether in the statehouse, courthouse or executive mansion, specific people control funding. One can speculate on the motivations of people who emphasize the interests of the privileged few over the needs of the disadvantaged many. In this case it may be more illustrative to speculate on the things that did not motivate them.

Clearly the decision-makers were not privileged to read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 in a public library, and no public school teacher had them voice a passage from a favorite book to grok Bradbury's story.

I was privileged to hear my dancer sister read the entirety of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron aloud while waiting for a Bicentennial light show at Independence Hall (you can't make this stuff up). If you don't remember this very short story, google it and take five minutes to read it right now...all done?

The reason the privileged feel put upon is that they view themselves as the title character - or would, if they'd ever been privileged to read it or to hear Vonnegut's words aloud at a shrine of liberty.

Libraries are our shrines of liberty. A right, not a privilege.

Whatever our voices say, they should be active voices.
Obvious Government has touched you many, many times!
Supporting libraries neither makes me liberal or you conservative. It's a difference of opinion. And my comment isn't ignorant. Your inability to take criticism for your comment is.
I think we need libraries, but I also ask why you think one person should pay more for the same government as the next? If we are all equal, we should each pay a flat amount - say $500 a year. No person should pay more no person should pay less. I do not think you would not like it if when you went to a store, the products being sold were not a fixed price, but you were asked to pay for an item based on what you earn.
Libraries are archives. Everyone should visit one, at least once a week and see if they are still up to date. Duh! Hello Internet!
You know most ice cream shops do let you sample their flavors. Just sayin.
So censor the internet & close public library's whats next public book burnings of authors whose works offend or whose race you object to?
(I've reshared this and the following comment with my Polisticks and Board Game circles, the latter because of the segments I've done on the Dice Guys podcast about libraries and their worth to the community as meeting places for diverse groups, including gamers. )

Disappointing, disgusting...

Libraries are the life blood of communities and our nation. I'll say it again: when my business went under and I moved to Oklahoma, my local library was my savior while I was in between jobs and a permanent place to live. For several months, it was where I went to get internet access in order to communicate with the few clients I had left on the east coast, upload and install the work I did for them, as well a make applications for new jobs. Without it, I would have probably gone entirely homeless. And I wasn't even taking advantage of a tenth of what libraries do for us.

That any state would think eliminating funding completely is a good step is insanity. I'm disappointed in California, and especially in Gov. Jerry Brown for including this in his budget in the first place.

Of course, I could go into my thoughts of the gutting of education and vilification of teachers and teacher pay in this country as one more sign of government and corporations dividing us by education and growing the working poor class for their own benefit, but I'll save that for a much larger rant when I have the time to drop in the supporting documentation. (It's complicated, and not black-and-white at all.)
The government is us. We have forgotten that, and we need to own it. I want my government dollars in libraries; censorship battles have and will go on, no matter whose money is involved. (And, again, it's our money.) Librarians across the ages have done a good job battling censorship and they'll continue to do so -- as long as there are libraries and librarians to continue the fight.
+ John James "I don't believe censoring the internet and stopping government funding to public libraries is in the same ball park at all" really as soon as Governments constrict KNOWLEDGE then you are buggered be it the Internet or your local Library. Eg. I need to look up whats the 5th Amendment to the Constitution No Library No internet NO TRUE INFORMATION
People who are wealthy enough to own a computer may not have noticed that lots of poorer people don't own one, and rely on the library for internet access. They are also community meeting points and many other things.
"If the community wants a library, so shall the community fund for that library - through donations, etc."

That's government.

"I haven't used a brick and mortar "library" for over a decade now so why should tax dollars be taken out of my personal pocket for this?"

Hey, I don't have kids. Why should I pay taxes to put your kids through school!?

Hey, I don't drive. Why should I pay taxes for roads?

Hey, I don't own a home. Why should I pay taxes and get nothing while you get a tax write off on your mortgage?

Hey, I don't ___fill in the blank__. Why should I pay for it?!

Sorry, there are multiple benefits to society for all of those things, even libraries, that often affect you in ways you do not see. You don't get to opt out of them.
Donations is NOT government. How little do you know.

Bums don't pay taxes because they fall in the categories you just listed above (are they complaining?) And those topics are under discussion by many representatives in Congress right now as to "you only pay for what you use". I have kids, i pay school taxes, I drive, so I expect to pay for everything involved with that (including tickets :), I own a home and the deduction given to me is via the government (I didn't ask for one and would be just fine without it). Socialism here we come if you get your way...geeez :(
We already have socialism. How little do YOU know? (Yes, there is a question mark at the end of that. And are we really playing the calling people socialist/communist/whatever game? Wow.)

People getting together and deciding to fund a community library is government, whether they do it through donations or taxes.

And if you would be fine without the home mortgage deduction so much, don't take it.

The fact is, people are selfish. They take deductions they don't like or need. They don't donate when they'd much rather have that 55" TV. And the rest don't donate because they need to put food on the table and pay the rent. I do it. You admitted to doing it right now. Everyone does.

To get things like roads, education, public trash removal, police and firepeople, and all sorts of services, and keep them on a par across the nation, means giving up some to the common good of everyone. And, yes, that means me paying taxes to put your kids through school.

What's killing the CA budget is prison costs - currently over $1 per citizen per day. Since I don't drive and have never had kids (and expect at my age never to) please "donate" my share of that in the taxes I pay to libraries since I am an avid user of them and there are so few gov expenditures which help reduce recidivism.

Yes, the new philosophy seems to be: who needs public schools or libraries when you've got prisons?
As usual, I'll delete comments that are rude or insulting. So, those of you who said things like "you are one screw loose from a whole lot of screws loose" or "try debate again when you grow up" will find those comments gone. Sorry. Be nice.
That's too bad.
The public library in the town where I went to school was a live saver for me, I used to flee the math classes, go over there and read e.g. the Feynman lectures :-)
In Germany, there is a university that allows you to study remotely: They send you material to read, you can send in your solutions to problems and the only time you have to turn up is when you have to pass an exam. You can get a Master in Mathematics this way. This is also possible for prisoners (the professor will go to the prison for oral exams in this case).
All of this is much easier with the internet now, of course: You can download course material and problems and send in your solutions via email, all the while discussing the topic in a dedicated forum with other students.
(When I learned about this I actually dreamed about being in prison, being able to concentrate on mathematics, instead of having to go to school. The big difference is that in school you have to listen to teachers, which can be so boring, while in prison you can decide what you would like to think about instead.)
Interesting stuff, Tim! You wrote:

"All of this is much easier with the internet now, of course."

I know you're not making this mistake, but I'll repeat what I said before, because so many people do: the internet is not a substitute for libraries, at least in the US, because for many people, the library is how they access the internet.

It's very easy for well-off people (like many of us here) to forget that poor people exist.
Right, there has been a discussion if the right to have internet access needs to be added to the German social law, to the prescription that lays down how to calculate the money that you get as social welfare. The right to have a TV has been established decades ago. I think the access to the internet should be added, too.

The "remote university" of Hagen (German: Fernuniversität Hagen) has a service that allows you to order books that are sent to you via snail mail. They use university libraries all over the country for this and offer a internet search engine only. I think you can still order books via snail mail (you get the formulary along with our immatriculation documents), or you could of course just phone your professor (some of them are very nice, maybe because they feel lonely :-).
Wow, you live in a country where the concept of "human rights" is still expanding! America seems to have decided that too many human rights would make us lose the war on terror and drive the country bankrupt. So, we have to cut back on human rights.

(Sorry, I'm feeling quite bitter and sarcastic about this library business.)
I live in San Francisco. We do have an excellent public library system here; and for more material the Inter Library Loan service connects one to many University libraries in CA and neighboring states. I have used this and it is most helpful, although the shorter loan periods can create difficulties (5 weeks vs 12 max time w/renewals). The system for accessing journals is hmmm, well spotty or something, sometimes very strong and other times very weak. I believe this is one area where state funding ups and downs have a big influence - there are year or more longer gaps in certain series.
Follow up (Wed Feb15). I spoke with a senior librarian at SFPL today and she said no one had spoken to her about any recent further cuts (but she said she would check for me). Also, it was reported on the news (KQED Public Radio) that CA shortfall was just calculated at $650 mill which may sound like a lot but said they swallowed this much last mid year and they thought they could do it again (without further cuts just trimming I guess). So there may be hope here that the mandatory library cut is not triggered. I'll let you all know if the librarian tells me anything more. It does seem like we may be beginning a real turnaround here in CA, but remains to be seen which programs will be restored when.
+Toby Bartels - the former Governor Schwarzenegger has an income of over $1 billion / yr. Maybe a little special tax for him and his like could restore the library funding. Otherwise, we seem to be in a downward spiral here.
Hey take from the rich and give to the poor.  Soon there will be no poor....yeh, hows that worked out for you!
Add a comment...