Library fee idea is really bad idea

So Patrick Thene Martin of Urbana thinks that the way to open "revenue streams" to support the library is to charge fees for services.

He says charging those unable to afford Internet at home an hourly fee to use the library "will keep people away" who may be engaging in "unproductive activity."

This will help keep the digital divide in place and add more to the cost of the GED which after January 2014 will only be available online at a new cost of $125.

Charge struggling community organizations a fee to use meeting rooms. This will mean fewer meetings and keep those people away, too.

Charge for a library card, $5 "seems reasonable." This is unless you are on a fixed income or have a family with children.

The library plan leaves the Douglass Branch closed for two full days, both Sunday and Monday.

It further reduces hours to nine a day for four of the remaining days (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Add the cost of time and money (MTD just raised fees, too) to take the bus to the library and you can keep more people away.

Is this what we want?

DAWN BLACKMAN

Champaign

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