Florida: “Survey: Miami-Dade County Residents Value Public Libraries, but Would They Pay More for Them?”
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.
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See Also: Pew Internet Releases “How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities” (December 11, 2013)
See Also: Miami-Dade Mayor Unveils Task Force to Study Future of Public Libraries, Administration Will Also Talk With Library Groups (October 16, 2013)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.