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Local Government Reform and Your Library

December 12th, 2007

The Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform released their report yesterday about how to streamline local government and and hopefully save taxpayers some money. You can read all 27 recommendations here, but I’ll summarize the library portions.

Recommendation #18: Reorganize library systems by county and provide permanent library service for all citizens. There are many areas throughout our state where library services are unavailable even though there are 239 individual library systems. The Commission recommends that these systems consolidate into 92 county systems that provide service to everyone. What this means for us in Morgan County is that the Morgan County Public Library and the Mooresville Public Library would combine to form one system. (The logistics of this boggles my mind, but I’m trying to keep my opinions to myself for now and just present the facts. )

Recommendation#19: Require that the budgets and bonds of library and all other special districts be approved by the fiscal body of the municipal or county government containing the greatest proportion of assessed value in the unit seeking approval. Basically, this means the County Council would be the body that approves our budgets instead of the Department of Local Government & Finance.

Recommendation #20: Strengthen the current joint purchasing infrastructure for libraries. The State Library and the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA) already do many things to help libraries save money. This recommendation is for them to do more.

We need to remember that these are only recommendations at this point. If you feel strongly about any of them, you need to let your elected officials know. Here’s some shortcuts:
E-mail Ralph Foley.
E-mail Richard Bray.

Update: You can also write directly to the Commission on Local Government Reform at lgreform@iu.edu.

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