Conference Topic:

Most us of think of public libraries as "free"- we are not charged directly for most services, but through taxes and other ways of raising money. At my public library I do not have to pay a fee to check out books but I do for videos. What do you think about libraries charging patrons to use library materials?


Pay to Use Public Libraries
by Theresa L. Ford on 02-22-2004

We should charge for everything. Antennas on TVs should not pick up stations. Voting ballots should come out of boxes similar to Metro ticket machines. Colleges and lower level schools should always charge everyone without any more of these scholarship things. Put toll booths on every road. Libraries should charge an entrance fee like movie theatres. After all, we have to keep those poor people in their place. Wouldn't want them getting all educated and high and mighty, now would we?

One of our country's greatest strengths is our average education level. Most adults can read and write. I think that to charge a fee to use public libraries would hurt our country more than having the necessary support taxes. It's bad enough that equal access to information on the internet isn't free. Schools and libraries actively censor and not everyone can afford a computer and monthly connection fee. But that's at least minorly consistent as libraries and schools are not equal in their content, quality, and fees. But to remove information availability entirely would be a mistake and only serve to give less to the poor. Charging only those with money to pay is punishing those who have money.