I am against the MidPointe Library System in Butler County, Ohio for all the same reasons I am against school levies. Even though I tend to love people who strive for knowledge and desire to feed minds with information, the quality of those efforts can cast people adrift all of their lives ruining them, and a library in many subtle ways contribute to that personal destruction. Before detailing why and how, here is the case that the MidPointe Library System makes for itself looking for more money from voters during the upcoming May 5th 2015 election. Essentially to make a long story short, they make the same arguments that public schools make, helping the children, offerings to the community, and all that kind of nonsense.
The MidPointe Library System will have a renewal levy on the ballot on Tuesday, May 5. Please find information regarding this levy, as well as why the Library is asking for continued community support below:
Something for Everyone in the Community
With current funding levels, the MidPointe Library System is able to provide many resources, materials, services, and programming to the residents of eastern Butler County.
MidPointe offers a collection of over a half million items, and partnership in the SearchOhio lending consortium gives patrons access to over 16 million items from across the state. In 2014 over 2 million items were checked out. Additionally, MidPointe provides internet access and public computers to assist people in finding jobs, accessing data and doing school work.
In 2014, MidPointe offered over 2000 programs. These are as diverse as yoga class and technology instruction for adults, to storytime and early literacy book clubs for children. The Library’s Summer Reading Program, which promotes literacy for all ages, reached record involvement last year, with nearly 10,000 patrons participating.
MidPointe’s influence expands well beyond the buildings. Librarians visit schools and community centers to engage young people in the joy of reading. Educators are able to stock their classrooms with books as a result of MidPointe’s “Teacher Collections.” The MidPointe Outreach Services Department delivers materials to over 200 patrons who are unable to physically visit the Library.
For the past two decades, Libraries in the state of Ohio have faced reduced funding. In 2008, the most drastic of these cuts occurred and as a result, the Library had to dramatically reduce hours, services and staffing. For the first time, the Library approached the public with the possibility of a .75 mill levy to supplement operations. The voters of our Library district passed the levy, which represents almost 40% of the MidPointe budget. Overdue fines and fees only represent 3.25% of the Library’s overall budget.
The overwhelming majority of the Library’s expenses are devoted to collection development and public service and programs. Administrative costs represent only 12.5% of overall expenses and the MidPointe Library System has continually been recognized as one of the most cost-effective in the state.
- The levy on the May 5 ballot is a renewal. This is not a new tax.
- Levy funds make up 40% of MidPointe’s budget.
- Levy Millage: .75 mill
- Length of Levy: 5 years
- Cost: The cost of this levy to the owner of a $100,000 home is approximately $22.97 a year(less than the cost of one hardback book).
Levy funds will:
- Maintain services and materials at all MidPointe locations.
- Continue to provide current technological resources to the public.
- Allow for sensible expansion in our growing community.
- Sustain programs for children, teens and adults.
Essentially they simply want more money to continue a practice that is rooted in socialism. I have never liked libraries because I have never liked sharing my books. I like buying them, and owning them—collecting them like treasures to be guarded by me as part of a life’s journey. It has always seemed wrong to “borrow” a library book from the library where they maintain “collective” ownership. The concept of a shared resource is disgusting. Library books are routinely abused because nobody owns them and are reflective of the type of society that is not centered on personal responsibility and individual ownership.
I have not been to a library for years. In my community within my little network of a neighborhood I have one of the best libraries in the entire country, the West Chester Library, yet I never, ever use it. I would not borrow a book or movie from them, because I don’t want to use someone else’s stuff. However, I go to one of two Barnes and Nobles book stores about two times a week. The children sections in both of those book stores are tremendous services to children and show how much better private investment is in constructing the mind of young people. The book store in Newport, Kentucky is just fabulous and is still one of my favorites anywhere—which is pictured within this article. It is a temple of knowledge and I love it—yet it is struggling to stay afloat in the changing climate of online offerings. Unlike the MidPointe Library System, Barnes and Noble cannot ask for a tax increase to stay afloat in a changing economy. So they have to adapt—where libraries are doing the same things they always have—and they lose a lot of money because of it. They are essentially money pits and their offerings to the community are not beneficial as they pretend.
The job of teaching children to read falls on the parents or less directly, the extended family members of a child—aunts, uncles, grandparents and so on. Not a socialist librarian or volunteer who has a subtle agenda of encouraging sharing as opposed to ownership. The world of a capitalist society like the United States is rooted in ownership—not sharing. When something of value maintains its worth because someone owned it and cared for it, it is then valuable to someone who might want to purchase it for their own. Libraries encourage sharing and while that might sound good on the surface—the mentality created from this exchange of ideas often leads to various acceptances of degrees of socialism—like public education, public housing, public assistance and so on.
From the book shelves at Barnes and Noble in Newport, Kentucky in my favorite section—the philosophy section—the two primary competing ideas regarding philosophy are on full display—because that is what people are buying. Amazon.com can provide obscure books within a few days and at a great price. Barnes and Noble put on their shelves titles that sell. All the other sections in the book store, politics, fiction, and cooking, current events—etc, all stem from the philosophy section. People think the way they do and are attracted to some things rather than other things based on their personal philosophy, so I see it as the most important section. In the various schools of thought in Western philosophy everything is basically built off two individuals, Plato and Aristotle. In the east it is Confucius, which leans toward Western Platonic thought. What that translates to through a long line of philosophic thought is essentially Karl Marx and Ayn Rand. I certainly lean toward Ayn Rand—yet I think her Objectivism is limited to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and that there will be new schools of thought stemming from her Objectivism that will have to encapsulate the bizarre behavior of quantum mechanics now being discovered. But Karl Marx has been a failure and is a dying philosophy that will either be extinct within the next two hundred years, or it will destroy our civilization. I have no use for Karl Marx in any fashion. Libraries are part of a Karl Marx mentality.
I love libraries for their historical significance—especially the library in Alexandria. At the time the cost of printing books was prohibitive and everyone couldn’t own a book. So the borrowing of books at a library was the best way to achieve an exchange of knowledge. But that time has passed. Now there are so many books printed that the market is saturated with knowledge. It is easier, and more efficient for people to upload books onto their devices, or just buy them at Amazon.com. Stores like Barnes and Nobel fill the traditional role of a library being a center of learning—especially for kids. But as for motivation into intellectual endeavors, libraries are not a substitute for a good parent or mentor. The reason I don’t go to the West Chester library is because it feels like a socialist utopia to me. But Barnes and Nobel feels like the intellectual center of a capitalist country and I could essentially move into every one of them and be very happy. It is for that reason that I will vote no for the MidPointe levy on May 5th. I feel sorry for them, but they are a dying enterprise that will evaporate under the changing times—and it would be better for them to see that happen now than prolonging the agony. Community isn’t very valuable unless the members of that community believe in an Aristotelian logic as opposed to a Platonic sentiment. A community of socialists is a destructive force, and that will be the unintended consequence of a continuation of the library system in America. It is time for a replacement and it begins with a withdrawal of funds from the black hole of tax increases for which libraries currently represent.