Tuesday, June 22, 2010
California's 6347-square-mile Siskiyou County Faces Worst-Case Scenario: No Libraries
Link to June 21 Los Angeles Times article,
Excerpt: The worst-case scenario? The Board of Supervisors could adopt a budget Tuesday that would shutter the entire system by the end of the month, making Siskiyou — an area bigger than Connecticut — the only county in California without public libraries.
Local book lovers are scrambling to figure out a way to avert that disaster. The state librarian visited recently and pledged to help. Friends of the Library chapters in several of the scenic towns near the Oregon border have vowed to raise money.
But the choices facing county officials are stark. Can they afford to keep a skeletal library system open, even for a few months? Should they save the Hornbrook fire station near the county's northern edge? If they don't, ambulance response time for an accident on Interstate 5 will be 45 minutes. And how deep should the Sheriff's Department be cut? What should they do with the county museum?
"They're to the point where it's a crisis," said State Librarian Stacey Aldrich. "The only free Internet access available to 60% of Californians is through their public library. They use it for job hunting, resume writing, gaining computer skills, online homework help."