From the Miami Herald:
Miami-Dade County residents truly love their libraries, but they don’t necessarily want to pay more taxes to fund them.
Those are the findings of a new poll conducted on behalf of county government, which is trying to find ways to save the public library system from deep budget cuts.
Ninety-five percent of respondents who use the library and 72 percent of non-users said libraries add to their quality of life. Eighty-three percent of respondents disagreed with a statement calling libraries “outmoded, obsolete and no longer necessary.”
Yet support for increasing the property-tax rate — likely the only way to grow the libraries or even keep them intact — was inconsistent, according to the survey by Behavioral Science Research, a Coral Gables-based firm.
Forty-four percent of respondents said they would be OK with a tax-rate hike, with 20 percent undecided.
The mayor has asked his 17-member task force to come up with recommendations by February for a long-term survival plan for libraries. The panel met Wednesday to consider the conclusions of four working groups that focused on different aspects of the library system.
Among their ideas: Marketing libraries as event or collaborative work spaces. Offering printing, photocopy and passport services. Opening library coffee shops. Selling books in neighborhoods without private bookstores. Asking voters to sign off on a temporary tax-rate hike.
Read the Complete Article