Charging for admission to the Prescott Public Library or for issuance of a library card would put the City of Prescott outside the requirements for a “free library,” according to county and state officials.
Written responses from the Yavapai County Free Library District Director and the Arizona State Librarian this past week indicate that charging fees at the Prescott Public Library – especially among the “core” services – would jeopardize state and county financial support.
Yavapai County Free Library District Director Barbara Kile and the Arizona State Librarian Holly Henley responded this past week to the city’s March written inquiry about the possibility of charging for basic library services, such as admission to the library, issuance of a library card, and checking out books.
To deal with its rising public-safety pension costs, the city made significant cuts earlier this year in its general-fund departments, including the library, and expects further cuts in the coming fiscal year. During continued discussions about the cuts, the library has come up as a possible source of further cuts and/or increased fees.