Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Disagreement Over Reciprocal Borrowing Payments in Milwaukee County
Library deal falters over redistributed costs. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/19/2011)
Excerpt: At issue are two agreements that govern the financial relationship among the 15 libraries that make up the countywide system. Those libraries have agreed to let residents of any community in the county borrow books and other materials from any library in the county, not just their own library.
Some communities, such as Milwaukee, are net borrowers, meaning their residents use other libraries more than their own, while others are net lenders that serve other communities' residents more than their own. Milwaukee also serves as the system's "resource library," allowing other libraries countywide to leverage the vast array of reference materials at the Central Library downtown.
The libraries used to pay each other for those services. But in recent years, the federated system has taken over the payments, by dividing part of its state aid among the member libraries, said Jim Gingery, executive director of the countywide system.