Library funding cuts questioned
As a Crow Wing County taxpayer, I strongly question the Kitchigami Regional Library System’s (KRLS) board decision to eliminate $20,000 in combined funding to associate libraries in Crosslake and Pequot Lakes.
2008 statistics show Crosslake residents paid a levy of more than $70,000 to KRLS. Ideal residents paid more than $49,000 and Pequot Lakes residents paid a KRLS levy of more than $26,000, all of it going to the Brainerd Public library.
That’s more than $145,000 in support from just Crosslake, Ideal and Pequot Lakes in 2008. (This levy is based on property values and not the number of people).
Crosslake Library is staffed totally by volunteers with the exception of one paid employee. The Crosslake Library serves as the official school library for Crosslake Community School and has a wonderful children’s program director, also a volunteer.
The Crosslake Library is 8 miles from my home (the Brainerd library is 30 miles), so it makes sense for me to use my local library! To say that only 1.71 percent and 1.12 percent of Brainerd Public Library users were residents of Pequot Lakes and Crosslake is unrealistic since both have their own libraries.
In fact, circulation of KRLS materials has increased 44 percent at the Crosslake library alone. The only service the Crosslake Library receives from KRLS is pickup and delivery of borrowed materials four times per week and some share funds from the Legacy amendment grant for local presentations. (Bookmobile services to both associate libraries were discontinued in 2010.)
How can Crow Wing County claim its primary responsibility for tax dollars is to the residents whose taxes contribute to the county levy and how can the KRLS board possibly say they are reducing services to the residents of cities consistent with the revenue received from them?
Their decision should definitely be reconsidered!