Friday, November 4, 2016

Sonoma County Measure Y: Multiple libraries benefit

Seven years ago today, I reacted to news of a planned 10-day shutdown of Sonoma County Library over the year-ending holidays.

My sentiments at the time, as a volunteer and supporter in neighboring Lake County, Calif., was that Lake County Library shares an online catalog with Sonoma County Library. So in 2009 the libraries facing closures were as much my “local” branches as if they were in Lake County.

Mendocino County Library rounded out our three-county partnership.

As a library volunteer, I experienced first-hand how resources I located at my local branch might be destined for readers anywhere in Sonoma, Lake or Mendocino County. When I requested an item, it might arrive for me courtesy of any of these library systems.

Moving beyond our three-county shared catalog, inter-library loan agreements were also in place among several Bay Area systems.

With our interconnected relationships, closures affecting any one system affected all of us. An item I needed might only be found at a library that was presently closed.

Even now, while no longer a resident, I continue to feel an investment in the well-being of “my” local libraries.

I want to encourage readers in Sonoma County to vote Nov. 8 in support of a special use tax to benefit Sonoma County Library.

If approved, Measure Y would create a one-eighth of one percent (0.125%) “transactions and use” tax for 10 years on retail sales in Sonoma County.

Measure Y would help address local library priorities including:

  • Restoration of library hours (cut by 25 percent since 2011)
  • Maintaining the library’s children’s book collection
  • Constructing dedicated computer labs
  • Keeping qualified librarians
  • Providing educational services for students, including homework help
  • Expanding services for seniors and people with disabilities

(Library information sheet, “Measure Y and Sonoma County Library”)

Mendocino and Lake County readers, these are “our” libraries too. I hope you’ll encourage your Sonoma County connections to vote Yes on Measure Y.

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