It is a widespread tragedy at public libraries around the country that poor management practices and emotional pleas are repeatedly employed to avoid facing the realities we all must face in our personal finances. Confusing a love of books with giving public library systems whatever funding they ask for is akin to serially spoiling a child and then wondering why that child turns out to be an inconsiderate, self-centered adult.
Do librarians who earn masters degrees in library science learn about how to manage, or is it just about building collections, cataloging, circulation and how to gain more public money for whatever folly the 'experts' deem appropriate?
The Pacific Grove library has not done the appropriate due diligence of analytically and impartially studying viable alternatives, which may include closing it down altogether, paying Monterey for the privilege of using its library or bringing in an outside library operating company to perform an analysis since the incumbents have such rigid biases against change.
Should Monterey county have multiple library fiefdoms because the librarians are too busy protecting their turf rather than economically serving the public? Apparently the answer is a resounding 'yes' given their total inertia at coming up with a better operating model, despite the desperate economic circumstances in just about every California community. The same goes for cities, school districts, waste management districts, air pollution control district and all the other duplicative service entities that have gradually built up through the decades...all costing the public far more than they should because of the overlapping, inefficient organization structure.
The City of Pacific Grove is broke and has a defiant, discouraging and obstacle-laden process toward new and existing businesses. No amount of tax increases will bring it back to viability given its overwhelming public employee pension and benefit liabilities. Why wouldn't it be appropriate to actually fix the broken sewer system, streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure before handing over more money to the library? Hard choices have not been made by multiple city regimes and the public should not be made to suffer because management doesn't earn their salaries by pursuing prudent public policy.
Giving more money to a city that can't prudently spend what it has is akin to giving an alcoholic another drink or a drug addict another dose of heroin. We in the real-world, small-scale private sector have had to make do with less...no bailouts, no subsidies, no loan guarantees. In the current economic environment, government agencies still don't want to follow the same rules as the rest of us.
Pacific Grove voters need to send a clear signal that the library is not exempt from sound operating practices.