Okay this will be my last comment concerning libraries. I give up. Very clearly the majority of Ottawans believe it is much more important to build a $200 million library than it is to stop dumping raw sewage into our rivers, or clean the bedbugs out of your grandmother’s mattress.
Judging from the blogs and emails received it only makes good sense that my four-year-old grandson can borrow 20 music CD’s, ten movies and ten video games every day for free, but if he wants to play hockey we taxpayers should bill him $432. Much better apparently for him to spend his time on the couch all day long watching movies then getting out onto our playing fields.
Okay, Okay, I admit my idea that we have greater priorities than spending $200 million on a library is all wrong. Ditto my idea that getting some exercise has value for children. By the way it’s not just video games and CD’s you get free from our libraries. How about free pedometers as well? And just for the fun of it, free watt meters too! Oh ya, also free museum passes. As many as you want! Not only that good folks, but you can order all of these dandy little free items on the Library “Online Catalogue”. You can even set up your own account at the Library, not that you have to pay for any of this, and in many cases we will now even deliver your free music and game videos right to your home.
Just for the heck of it. Here is the official list of what we taxpayers pay for so users don’t have to pull out the old wallet:
An unlimited number of books, printed, on tape and on CD
An unlimited number of magazines
Ten compact discs, CD ROM’s, videocassettes and DVD’s
Twenty music CD’s
An unlimited number of museum passes
Also free, as earlier stated, pedometers and watt meters!
Meantime, we don’t have the money to clean bedbugs out of public housing, we don’t have the money to stop dumping raw sewage into our rivers and to have your kids play soccer, T-ball and hockey on and in City owned property. That would cost you close to a thousand dollars…. per kid!
But as many of you bloggers and e-mailers say: That’s the way it should be.
By the way, across the River in Gatineau if you just want to borrow books, library services are free, but if you want to avail yourself of things like DVD’s and music videos you will have to pay something. These so-called optional services in Gatineau will cost you $10 a year for an individual. It’s $25 per year for a family with an annual income in excess of $40,000. It’s half that amount for families with an income below $40,000 and free for those on welfare. Non-Gatineau residents will have to pay $50 a year to use their libraries. Families outside the city have to pay $100 a year.
It works very well in Gatineau, where fees to use playing fields are far less than half of what you must pay in Ottawa.