Easton library in limbo

Full story: The Morning Call

Suburban officials Friday were skeptical of a proposal by the Easton Area School District to pull the majority of funding for the Easton Area Public Library, questioning the fairness and feasibility of spreading the costs to run the historic institution.

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A new low for the EASD

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#1
Jun 13, 2009
 
I don't even know what to say about the EASD...Seriously, stop funding the library? Seriously?? Who came up with that idea? For over 100 years, thru hard times and good, the school district funded the library and now all of a sudden they wanna bail out of it? For what, because they wanna save a million or so...what could be more important then the library?
What cracks me up is as tax payers, we are required to pay school taxes whether we have children or not...and in that tax we pay for the library. A fee that allows us to basically "pay in advance" to use the library for the entire year. I don't have children that go to school, so out of that 1% of my entire tax, I get something out of it, the rest is put towards sending other peoples kids to school. Can I opt out of paying the school part of the tax and just pay for the library please? It cheaper then my cable bill, and I can check out all the books and dvd's I want for free!
This is disgusting and just plain disturbing!!

“Cool Logic - Burning Passion”

Since: Feb 07

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#2
Jun 13, 2009
 
A new low for the EASD wrote:
I don't even know what to say about the EASD...Seriously, stop funding the library? Seriously?? Who came up with that idea? For over 100 years, thru hard times and good, the school district funded the library and now all of a sudden they wanna bail out of it? For what, because they wanna save a million or so...what could be more important then the library?
What cracks me up is as tax payers, we are required to pay school taxes whether we have children or not...and in that tax we pay for the library. A fee that allows us to basically "pay in advance" to use the library for the entire year. I don't have children that go to school, so out of that 1% of my entire tax, I get something out of it, the rest is put towards sending other peoples kids to school. Can I opt out of paying the school part of the tax and just pay for the library please? It cheaper then my cable bill, and I can check out all the books and dvd's I want for free!
This is disgusting and just plain disturbing!!
We'd help you out here over in Bethlehem but we've already decided to pay off the folly of our elected school board and their little swaptions and derivatives dabbling... but maybe after we're done putting that multi million dollar obligation to bed we'll think about it...
Shut it Down

Bethlehem, PA

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#3
Jun 13, 2009
 
The vast majority of taxpaying residents do NOT use the public library system in Easton or others in the Valley. Public libraries are slowly becoming the dinosaur of information. Now, while I agree that libraries are needed to some extent. If one wants information on an issue not availble on the internet, visit a local college or university library. If it is necessary for you to check out books or information, inquire about a membership to that particular library. All in all, public libraries simply do not pay for themselves and only serve a fraction of the community.
EAHS Grad

Northampton, PA

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#5
Jun 13, 2009
 
In regards to an earlier post, a lot of local colleges do not permit non-students to take out books. In part, that is probably because the students there pay tuition and alumni donate towards keeping the libraries open, so they get priority and may restrict access. Likewise, some of the Lehigh Valley colleges and universities do not like the under-18 crowd in them even if they are doing work for AP classes, which are very akin to college-level work. The college's resources are really for the student body unless the school is a public university or community college, and even then, it still is their decision.

As for a lot of people no longer are using libraries, it wasn't all that many years ago, that my parents invested the time to drive my brother and myself to the summer reading programs at the Easton Public Library. As a result, I was able to handle the heavy courseloads of reading I had in undergrad and graduate level studies, and now, I hold a master's degree. If left to only reading the mandatory summer books for my accelerated classes, I think I would have been one of those children who learns to dislike reading. The summer program expanded my options of what is literature and how to critically think, and were an option there for students, regardless of what academic track they may have been in at Easton.

It would be nice to still foster that love in reading now in adulthood with the community's library and see another generation grow up with the resources I had available for free use.

I don't know how many of you attended EASD, but the school's libraries after elementary school were not adequate to get schoolwork done, so I'd have to go to the public library or have one of my parents who had college library privileges take books out for me. The more expensive alternative was to go to the mall and buy the books I needed and/or wanted. Those options I was fortunate to have, and fully am aware many didn't. That is why it is so important to still have open libraries for public use.

In a school district where sharing textbooks sometimes happened, I guess I am not surprised to hear the news about the future funding of the public library. I suppose one doesn't need the books if the real investment is in the sinkhole-prone athletic fields that all the people in town pay towards even if they don't have children. Anyone notice how the sports teams still have their participants run not only on the bike path in Palmer, but on main streets too? Talk about dangerous. I thought that was what those fancy tracks and paths on campus were for!

That said, any ideas for fundraisers yet for the library? A lot of us would be willing to help out despite the ignorance of others on where the school tax dollars should be going.
not4me

Easton, PA

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#6
Jun 13, 2009
 
As much as I love the library and would hate to see it go, I have to accept reality that this school district places little priority on academics and learning. The library simply does not fit anymore.

Textbooks are rare. My kids tell me that they have to share textbooks in many classes and cannot bring them home.

Unfortunately, I don't think the library fills that void for the kids.

With so many graduates not proficient in reading skills, I guess the library will phase out over time with too few people to use its resources.

I guess some of the historical collection can be transferred to the new historical society building. What books are left can be transferred to some of the school libraries and sold.

The building can be converted to housing units. The Easton Flag can be given to the Smithsonian or sold on Ebay
Winnie

Northampton, PA

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#7
Jun 13, 2009
 
Shut it Down wrote:
The vast majority of taxpaying residents do NOT use the public library system in Easton or others in the Valley... If one wants information on an issue not availble on the internet, visit a local college or university library. If it is necessary for you to check out books or information, inquire about a membership to that particular library.
Wow, where to start? First, an article in the June 3 Express-Times reports that circulation at the Easton Library is up 10% over last year. Can you support your statement that the vast majority of people don't use the public library? In most communities, a solid majority of people have library cards.

Second, you throw out "information not available on the internet" as if that's an insignificant amount. Let's not talk about scholarly research right now; let's take something as simple as reading a 1940s article from a local newspaper. Good luck with the Internet on that one.

Third, public libraries are not just about research but about circulating books for pleasure and enrichment. Libraries are community leaders in fostering a culture of reading and learning. The closing of our public libraries would be a tragedy and would make the dumbing down of the United States much worse, and permanent.
LV Guy

Sparta, NJ

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#8
Jun 13, 2009
 
What does the teacher Union have to say? I think they'll let the library go down as long as they are employed.
Guido

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#9
Jun 13, 2009
 
It seems to me that libraries are not really free. When I sit down and look at my taxes from palmer twsp and the school district, I am paying for the two libraries the one in palmer and the one in easton. Why is this? The library should not be funded by an individual school district. If its in the city let the city take care of it. What does the city of easton taxes pay for? It's ashame that it has come to this in our school district.
EAHS Grad

Northampton, PA

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#10
Jun 13, 2009
 
To the poster about whether or not the libraries are free, I think you're missing how it is being used. The way I was using it is free as in not restricted in access rather than financially free of cost.

As for having the city have the sole responsibility of funding the library, I don't see that as necessarily fair. I live in the suburbs, yet would go down to the Easton library, as it housed more books I was looking for. If one would look at the home residence addresses, I would think there are plenty of library visitors who do not live in the city of Easton...

Therefore, is the idea to insulate each library so that each restricts access (as in you may only come through our doors if you live in Easton, Palmer, etc.) or make each library have only the closest residents funding the library each year? To me, that seems like a worse allocation of resources, where the wealthier 'burbs end up with the better libraries, or more likely, where none of us have libraries with the desired accessible resources.

Libraries offer people who do not have access to the Internet or computers the ability to do homework, apply for jobs, etc. They are an easier way to access older printed material as someone pointed out, and DVDs/VHS/CDs just the same. Libraries employ great staff librarians and run great community programs. To me, the library offers more people opportunities regardless of age or income than some of the other things taxes go towards as some of the other posters have indicated.
Amused by Ignorance

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#11
Jun 13, 2009
 
Shut it Down wrote:
The vast majority of taxpaying residents do NOT use the public library system in Easton or others in the Valley. Public libraries are slowly becoming the dinosaur of information. Now, while I agree that libraries are needed to some extent. If one wants information on an issue not availble on the internet, visit a local college or university library. If it is necessary for you to check out books or information, inquire about a membership to that particular library. All in all, public libraries simply do not pay for themselves and only serve a fraction of the community.
I am a librarian, and not employed by EAPL, but I am still shocked and amused by your lack of knowledge perhaps you should be using the library more so that you can make informed statements on a public forum. The library is a very big asset to the community as a whole since it helps assist in the school district by also including texts that supplement the curriculum of your local school districts.

In addition to it being a place of learning and knowledge if you ever walk through the doors of the main library you would see that it also acts as a way of keeping our youth off the streets. The children of the community can be found in the library as soon as the can get there after getting off the bus. Granted they may come to use the computer etc but they are still being more productive than just hanging out on street corners waiting to be "introduced" to possible gang life.

So maybe when the school district is thinking about things to cut we should be smart. For instance look at the insane amount of "unmonitored" spending that I know for a FACT is going on at the new school after the EASD is claiming to be sooooooo in trouble!!! Understand that I am not against the teachers I think they are not to blame but this administration and board need to start being smart before they talk about cutting things that are more important than multiple fields that we pay to keep up, unnecessary changes to NEW administration buildings, etc!!!
SICKOFALLTHEGREE D

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#12
Jun 13, 2009
 
LV Guy wrote:
What does the teacher Union have to say? I think they'll let the library go down as long as they are employed.
And get great medical benefits, prescription plans and the summer off, oh, and of course the multitude of extended holiday vacations!!! Lose the Library , who cares!!

Since: Sep 07

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#13
Jun 13, 2009
 
While they're at it, why don't they eliminate reading classes? That'll save some dough. Without the availability of books, why waste time & money teaching public school kids to read?
Guido

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#14
Jun 14, 2009
 
No doubt about it libraries are a big asset to the community, but I think that a school district should not be the sole provider of these services the city has to take some responsibilities. I don't think the school district should be put out over $1 million to fund it. It's amazing how many people did not know that the district puts all the money out for the library until its being talked about being eliminated from the budget.
Disgusted

AOL

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#15
Jun 15, 2009
 
When the priority is on overly-expensive, poorly designed montrously large schools, land acquisition, ball fields, raises for the already over-paid big shots, and astro turf, and NOT on supporting the library, something is shockingly wrong.

From top to bottom our public school systems are a catastrophe and need to be completely overhauled. But this latest fiasco is a disgrace.
Disgusted

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#16
Jun 15, 2009
 
Shut it Down wrote:
The vast majority of taxpaying residents do NOT use the public library system in Easton or others in the Valley. Public libraries are slowly becoming the dinosaur of information. Now, while I agree that libraries are needed to some extent. If one wants information on an issue not availble on the internet, visit a local college or university library. If it is necessary for you to check out books or information, inquire about a membership to that particular library. All in all, public libraries simply do not pay for themselves and only serve a fraction of the community.
This moron probably sits on a school board.
Bungle

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#17
Jun 15, 2009
 
Cut the LIBRARY?? Isn't there some other way to figure this out? Maybe one main library instead of 2 branch libraries? Come on EASD board, sit down with officials and hammer out a compromise. The first thing the school board should do is CUT THE AFG PROGRAM. Almost a million dollars in salaries, meetings, substitute teacher pay? SUCH A WASTE!!! Most of the teachers think AFG is a burden and want it to go. Read these posts that were hidden in another Morning Call article. Many people feel the same way.

http://www.topix.com/forum/source/the-morning...
Easton PAs NJ

Sparta, NJ

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#18
Jun 15, 2009
 
they've been funding the library since 1901.

2 world wars
1 depression
several recessions
the "cold war"

Throughout history our taxes were less than 1/2 of what they are today. Why? What's so different about today? How come it's so difficult now than then?
Guido

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#19
Jun 16, 2009
 
I agree with Bungle, the AFG program should be cut. First of all it would save over 1/2 million dollars, then it would put the teachers back in the classroom doing their intstructions instead of sitting at meetings that are just telling them what they already know--teach the kids and make them achieve beyond their potential. We don't need to pay someone over 80+ thousand to tell us that. We know that teachers are in it for the kids.
Love to read

Allentown, PA

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#20
Jun 17, 2009
 
Okay I have to admit up until recently I never really utilized the library. However with the economy being in its current state. My kids and I have been there weekly. We use the library to get DVD's, videos and books. It is a lot cheaper to borrow them from the library than it is to purchase them. Not to mention by getting books and things from the library there is less clutter than if we would have purchased these things and kept them. I would hate to see the library go away or loose funding.

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