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Keep libraries funded, open
On November’s ballot there will be a request to increase the library levy by $0.09/$1,000 assessed value. That’s an increase from $0.31 to $0.40/$1,000. For a house assessed at $200,000, that will increase property taxes by $18/year.
Even that increase will not be enough to prevent some serious cost cutting measures, including freezing the salaries of the highest paid employees and reducing some programs. What the library system is adamant about is the need to maintain hours and basic level of service.
Some facts of life: not all of us have high speed internet. In fact, a whole lot of people don’t even own a computer. They do not have Google at their fingertips every time they have a question.
That puts their kids at a serious disadvantage in school, where many teachers are now posting lessons and homework assignments on their web sites and requiring students to post their homework.
College is beyond the reach of a good many people. Not only does it cost money, but it takes time. Most adults need that time to work the long hours to pay for the basics.
Which brings us to the Sno-Isle library system. Its branches have the computers where students can download their homework, do the research, and get their homework turned in. It has access to databases around the world for people with questions about anything you can imagine. Traditionally in this country, the library has been the place where poor people go for their education. It takes a lot of motivation and persistence, but the library is there for anyone who wants to make use of it.
Eighteen dollars per year is a very small price to keep the doors to knowledge open for everyone in Island and Snohomish counties. We’ve gone to great lengths to build fine libraries. Now let’s keep them open and functioning. Vote yes for the library levy.