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Don’t need larger library

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Regarding Brian Pappalardo’s letter of Jan. 11, does Crystal Lake really need a bigger library? Consider the following.

1. The library is not growing. Circulation is lower today than it was three years ago.

2. The meeting rooms are not overbooked. The Ames Meeting Room is booked just 32 percent of the time; the computer lab, 5 percent. With the growth of eBooks, do you think the library will need more space or less space in the future?

3. Almost a third of the library’s circulation is movies and video games – more than 325,000 items last year. While Redbox rents movies for $1.25 (and makes a profit), it costs the taxpayers more than $4 for the library to circulate the same movie, or $1 million more than if they used Redbox. For what it costs the library to circulate movies, it could literally pay for a Netflix subscription for every family in Crystal Lake, and that is not an exaggeration.

Personally, I think the library looks great and is just the right size. It may need a new furnace – I don’t know – but it certainly doesn’t need to be a lot bigger, especially if it would cost more than $700 a square foot to build an addition and would increase the property taxes for the library by 33 percent, which is what the Library Board proposed in 2012.

Steve Willson


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