Sender: Mark Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: ? Nonresident fees
On Thu, 21 Jul 1994 [log in to unmask] wrote:
> Fees for non-residents? Most of the people posting here seem to favor them,
> the argument being that non-residents don't pay the local taxes.
And it's about time, too. All too often librarians tend to take their
missionary zeal so strongly to heart that they are willing to serve
anyone that walks in the door regardless of whether they have paid their
fair share for that service or not.
> However, does your library recieve state aid? federal aid? If so, and no
> matter in what miniscule amounts, then the non-residents have contributed to
> the welfare of your library.
No, the size of the contribution *is* a factor. There is no logical way it
can be argued that the small amount that comes to a library by way of
state aid should compel that library to provide the same range of
service afforded a resident that is paying a significant amount.
You might as well argue that state universities be obliged to give
free educations to anyone in the state.
> Further, aren't most libraries supported by property taxes these days? Mine
> is. Not every resident resident pays property taxes. Should we demand a
> copy of a the residents mortgage before issuing a card?
You should do what you think is fair. This is so open to debate that a
locality simply has to decide. But one aspect should be noted: in states
where libraries are funded by state-mandated property tax levels (like, say,
New Jersey), it is the wealthiest communities that decide not to fund a
library because the ticket would be so high. I'm sorry, but those folks
really lose my sympathy big time.
Texas State Library