Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Letter of support from a New Carlisle Library Patron

October 24, 2007

Dear Representative:

I am writing this letter in support of maintaining the current system of
administration and funding that our local library in New Carlisle enjoys.

Of all the libraries I have been a patron of, the New Carlisle library
exemplifies the ideal approach to management and administration. Our local
director has dedicated himself and the staff to providing not only a first
class location but also the very best in customer services. It is clear
that the entire organization operates with the patron in mind providing
services with little red tape and always seeking to think like their
customers. It is also clear that they have the freedom to operate properly.

While you may find some libraries with similar characteristics, I challenge
you to find one that actually brings our community together. The library is
such an attractive place that each generation of our community finds
something of lasting interest there. Our school children go there sometimes
on a daily basis after school to broaden their studies or recreate, our
seniors go there to plan and participate in numerous craft and health
programs and our middle aged find support for home design, resources in
support of college/technical studies and also to find an interesting DVD.
The library also facilitates meeting services for all community needs such
as environmental issues, health issues and educational topics.

Everyone finds the library a genuine community location that each can talk
about at the dinner table as well as genuinely participate in as a family,
with everyone finding an attraction there. It's a unique place that
mothers, fathers and their children have in common. It is also something we
take pride in.

The strategic planning required to bring us to this point goes back more
than a decade and the operation and vision to maintain it relies on the
specific knowledge of our community's distinctive need as well as the
capability to make proper prioritization's of resources as limited resources
invariably require.

We understand that the current plan is to centralize administration and
funding in an effort to help maximize resources across the state. While on
paper this may make statistical improvements, managing to a satisfactory
performance metric only jeopardizes our "A+" performers in an effort to
bring the statewide GPA to "C+" or "B+" isn't worth killing off our role
models. Without those success stories, what would we have to talk

I personally would like to invite you to come visit our library any day of
the week. You need to see success in action to have a true appreciation for
what these words are trying to represent.

Let the individual library board's choose which is best for their own local
community and leave the funding up to the local taxpayers to decide.

Steve Varela
New Carlisle Library Patron

Way to go Wakarusa!

Wakarusa-Olive, Harrison Township Public Library Friends of the
Library are sponsoring a "Save Our Library" campaign. They have stamped,
addressed envelopes for Governor Daniels, state representatives, and
state legislators for interested library patrons to take and write
letters. E-mail addresses for these legislators are also available.

A handout about library consolidation and a sample letter are on hand.
Interested patrons are asked to express their support for local control
of the Wakarusa-Olive, Harrison Township Public Library and also to
support all small libraries in Indiana. Based on the number of envelopes
that have been taken, the group estimates that 300 letters have been
sent within the first ten days of the campaign.

The Friends of the Library have also contacted the teachers at
area schools and urged them to write their legislators and express their
opinion about this important issue. The Wakarusa Chamber of Commerce and
Town of Wakarusa will also be addressed and asked to pass resolutions
supporting the library.

Jo Geleske
Library Director
Wakarusa Public Library
Wakarusa, IN 46573

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Excellent article about library consolidation...

in today's LaPorte Herald Argus:

How you can make a difference

Dear Colleague:

Libraries under 40,000 population now face a crisis brought on by the
Blue Ribbon Commission on Government Efficiency. For what ever
reason, Gov. Daniels seems to believe public libraries have
substantially contributed to the rise in property taxes and that
consolidation would bring economies of scale, i.e. bigger is better. If
we believe in local control; keeping our libraries in the communities
that started them; and not being FORCED to merge with another unit, NOW
is the time to act.

May we suggest the following things to do to stop this movement:
1. Figure your public service units - see attached sheets with the
units to be counted and the definitions of each. Send these figures to

2. Contact your county auditor or treasurer to find out what
percentage of the total county tax dollars goes to your library. Use
this along with PSU's (public service units) when talking with
supporters and legislators.

3. Notify your community about this threatened loss and encourage
them to write support letters, e-mail, or telephone with details of why
they like the library - service, geographic convenience, personalized
service, local control. We need to send bags and bags of mail to the
Governor's office to let him know he does not speak for our communities
and the voters there.

4. Talk, in a face to face meeting, with your local legislator and
supply them with information to show how libraries co-operate, are
efficient and are looking to the future. Provide these facts and
figures to convert the opponents. It might be helpful to take along a
community member who has a strong relationship with the legislator.

5. Collect stories of how the library has made a difference in
your patrons' lives and send the stories to the legislators.

We cannot depend on others to be advocates for small and medium sized
libraries in this crisis! The library representatives to the Blue
Ribbon Commission have tried their best, but unfortunately, the plan
seems to have been set in motion. The only way this can be stopped is
for the legislature NOT to back the governor's lead. Pick up your oar
and row! Talk to your legislator! Notify the ILF legislative
committee. Tell them our lobbyist needs to be more aggressive in
protecting library service in Indiana. The library community should set
the parameters of service, not an outside group.

This is the brain child of the signers below with help from the
Westchester P.L. Please let us know if you have questions, concerns or
need help with facts, figures, wording correspondence, etc. And most
importantly, thank you for your time and consideration.


Jane Ellen Felchuk, Director North Judson-Wayne Township Public

Carol Jackson, Director Culver-Union Township Public Library

Kathie Scott, Director Pulaski County Public Library

State Library Mission Statement

<> <Worksheet.xls>> <>

Letter from a patron regarding library consolidation


Recently you were able to help me get set up with Net Library.
I check out audio books at least once a week from the library, and was thrilled when I realized that I would be able to download them as well.

Due to a brain injury (heart attack) I am not able to concentrate long enough to complete a written book. The audio books available to me are the answer to my prayers. The audio books reopen the world of literature to me again. This is something I would have had to sadly give up if it weren't for our local library.

It would not be possible for me to purchase the audio books that I currently listen to.

What I just mentioned is only one way the library benefits our family alone. We have two school age children, one of whom thrives on books.

I am so proud of our small community and when I drive by the library and see so many of our local children playing safely on the lawn it just confirms my reason for living here. When I walk into the library I truly feel like I am at home.

I will be writing to representatives explaining how consolidation would be a detriment to our community and also how personally devastating it would be to me.

If there is anything else I can do to plead our opposition to any type of consolidation please let me know. I will help in any manner I am able.


Mary Johnson

Friday, October 19, 2007

From the Chesterton Tribune

Article about saving the Westchester Public Library from consolidation.

Meeting with Senator from Indiana District 8

I had the pleasure of meeting Senator Jim Arnold (D) for Senate District 8 here in Indiana. Senator Arnold and I toured the Library and then we discussed the proposed consolidation issue for Public Libraries in Indiana. Senator Arnold definitely agreed about the erosion of control of local government. Senator Arnold stressed that people need to contact him and be heard. He recommended that I draft to him a letter that he could use when he discussed this with Senators from other districts. Senator Arnold needs to be thanked for taking the time to become personally involved regarding this issue.

A copy of my letter follows:

October 18, 2007

Senator Jim Arnold
5698 W. Johnson Road
LaPorte, Indiana 46350

re: Potential Consolidation of
Public Libraries in Indiana

Senator Arnold:

I am writing to inform you of my opinion regarding a portion of the governor’s charge to the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. I am in agreement that the way things are done are no longer working nor meeting the needs of Indiana taxpayers, but the costs of some of the alternatives need to be addressed as well.

In paragraph four, number two of the charge it is stated: “What local units of government (including schools and libraries) might be successfully consolidated to reduce overhead and administrative expenses.” This statement utilizes a “one-size-fits-all” mentality that will have devastating consequences on smaller communities in Indiana.

Many in this area already feel that big government is taking away too much control from the local taxpayers. If a larger framework for government makes sense for some areas then it should be utilized, but if a smaller framework is already working, why waste already scarce resources?

I regard consolidation of Public Libraries as an additional weakening of the only voice that some small communities have in this government. We cannot let this happen, this type of governmental overreach will not be tolerated.

To consolidate public libraries in Indiana and lose services would be a real detriment to our small communities. Maybe legislators need to look upon Indiana’s public libraries as a model for cooperative ventures instead of as liabilities.

Investigate the TRUE costs of consolidation. Buildings and equipment will need to be bought and paid for and a fair market value will need to be used. This WILL cost taxpayers of the state tens of millions of dollars.

I propose the following:

Investigate current regulations imposed on units of local government by the State of Indiana such as legal advertising requirements. Legal advertisements must still be printed, but must multiple publications be required? Utilization of Internet resources could be considered as a cost effective and complimentary way to inform residents.

Encourage participation in cooperatives among units of local government for: health insurance, building insurance, liability insurance, cooperative purchasing agreements for equipment and supplies, cooperatives for computer related equipment and maintenance. Participation could be made mandatory.

Address areas of the state where residents have no library service.

Has a timeline been considered for paying for consolidation costs and what could be the eventual payback? Legislators need to be realistic. It will take decades to realize any savings if any are to be had.

Encourage communities where consolidation makes sense to do so. Such legislation has already been enacted.

The above should be looked upon as potential stepping stones by which we can find a reasonable and cost effective resolution to some of the State’s current issues. Indiana’s Public Libraries are always willing to do their part to make their communities the best possible.

Thank you for taking time to fully investigate the issue. I am available at your convenience if you require additional information.

Best Regards,

Stephen Boggs

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Resolution of the New Carlisle Public Library Board of Trustees

A signed .pdf is available at:



News of one of the charges given to the Indiana Commission on Local Government reform has caused great concern to the Board of Trustees of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library. In the charge given by the Governor is the investigation into the consolidation of Public Libraries in the State of Indiana.

WHEREAS, a single “one size fits all” mentality is being applied to Libraries in Indiana.

WHEREAS, an “easy fix” has the potential to destroy the abilities and potential of many small and medium sized Libraries in the state and destroy the cohesiveness that is essential in small rural communities.

WHEREAS, consolidation has the potential to cost tens of millions of dollars to taxpayers in the short-term and would, in fact, take decades to see any savings in tax bills if at all.

WHEREAS, cooperation and the creation of cooperative consortiums will indeed provide both short-term benefits and long-term solutions without costing the taxpayers as much.


The New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library Board of Trustees firmly believe that the consolidation of Small and Medium Sized Public Libraries in the State of Indiana would be a detriment to the residents in the affected communities.

There has been submitted no substantive proof that the consolidation of Libraries in Indiana would save tax dollars.

Consolidation of Libraries could, in fact, cost taxpayers in the form of less service and less access to valuable information.

The Board of Trustees of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library, St. Joseph County, Indiana voted on October 16, 2007 to request that there be no consolidation of Public Libraries in the State of Indiana, lest that those who wish to be allowed to do so.



Sunday, October 14, 2007

Letter to the Editor

Following is what I have submitted to our local (New Carlisle, Indiana) newspaper for insertion as a Letter to the Editor.

I also have a full page of options and alternatives that I am going to submit for further consideration to our Legislator and the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. That information will be posted as soon as it is ready.

October 13, 2007

To the Residents of New Carlisle, Olive Township and New Prairie United School Corporation:

I am writing to you regarding the charge given to the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. Charge number two to the Commission states: “What local units of government (including schools and libraries) might be successfully consolidated to reduce overhead and administrative expenses?” This charge means further consolidation of existing school corporations and the future consolidation of public libraries in the state into, potentially, county-wide or even regional systems.

Please be aware that these are my personal thoughts and not necessarily those of the Staff or Board of Trustees of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library.


Is a facility that is more than just a small town library. It is a true center of the community in every way. We worked for it, so why can’t we keep it?
Has an extremely strong and positive relationship with the New Prairie United School Corporation.
Has worked on joint grant opportunities with NPUSC that cost the taxpayers nothing, and had a very positive outcome.
Strongly promotes and proudly maintains a reciprocal borrowing agreement with the LaPorte County Public Library.
Is 100% owned and run by the community and is thus accountable to the TAXPAYERS of New Carlisle and Olive Township (no small challenge).

What could OUR COMMUNITY lose?

Local control and management of the library. We have worked hard to have put together an extremely strong, adaptable and beautiful facility that will reflect the qualities of our community for many years to come. Others, who have NO vested interest or even pay taxes! in OUR community, will be in control.

The reciprocal borrowing agreement with the LaPorte County Public Library could easily be canceled. That means people living immediately across County Line Road in LaPorte County will have to pay for a Public Library Access Card ($30.00 for 2007) or purchase a library card from what could be our new organization, the St. Joseph County Public Library, for $200 for a non-resident family card or $65 for a non-resident individual. Please consider the following link for additional information regarding additional fines and fees: This would certainly have a NEGATIVE impact on both students and educators in NPUSC because many may not be eligible for a card if the library were consolidated. I don’t want our kids to pay the price if our library were consolidated with another.

Many existing programs that are now offered and have been offered by the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library at Olive Township Elementary would be canceled because the people who do those programs will not be here.

Future joint cooperative grants such as the grant jointly secured by the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library for the automation of the Olive Township Elementary Library. The joint cooperation between the New Carlisle Public Library and the New Prairie United School Corporation is a model for other communities to follow. Together we can make anything happen! The New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library purposefully purchased the identical automated circulation that is now being used at NPUSC. It makes simple and practical sense for the students to utilize the same software at the library as they do at school. Show me what other library purposefully does this to support the school kids?

As an alternative to consolidation there are some cooperative efforts that I feel would be much more cost effective. Working along with the St. Joseph County Public Library, the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library and the Walkerton-Lincoln Township Public Library there is a substantial amount of money to be saved by grouping together for health insurance, building insurance and supplies to name just a few. I strongly feel that these would benefit all while retaining local control of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library and save our taxpayers even more money than what is being proposed by consolidation. The potential for positive outcomes without consolidation have definite potential and need to be explored and now is the perfect time. Consolidation, when looked at statewide, has the potential to cost the taxpayers millions while they are completely losing control of their small communities. Why is it that the simplest and least difficult ways of doing things in government are frequently the ones never done? Keep It Simple!

I feel a "cookie cutter" approach to solving tax issues will not work in our area. What works on the East Coast or in Indianapolis may not work here and this shortsightedness needs to be addressed prior to any legislation being pursued, let alone passed.

Our community and school corporation have learned that what works in one area of the state, or the nation for that matter, isn't necessarily what is best for all in our area and this sentiment needs to be made clear to our legislators prior to the next legislative session. Together, we have proven that cooperative ventures between the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library AND the New Prairie United School Corporation have not only saved the taxpayers money, but have provided many positive enhancements and benefits to our schools.

A pro-active approach to potential library consolidation and potential further school consolidation is a solid course to follow. Whether or not you agree with my opinion, you need to contact your respective legislators and let them know how you feel. Following is a link that will help you find whom to contact for your particular area: If you require additional assistance or would like to comment, please feel free to contact me at:

I have also created a personal blog at: I feel this information needs to be shared with other individuals, units of local government and school corporations in Indiana that serve rural areas as we are the ones who could be most negatively impacted. This would also be a perfect opportunity for students to write to their legislators and state their opinions. It is their generation who will feel the effects of what happens next.

All The Best
Stephen Boggs

Friday, October 12, 2007

Are we smarter than 5th graders?

Are we smarter than 5th graders?

It is an honor and privilege for me to work with Junior Achievement in the 4th and 6th grades at our local elementary school. The students and faculty there consistently provide for me a reality check and remind me why I became a Librarian 24+ years ago.

With the 4th grade students we have a section in the workbooks that delineate the steps taken in making a decision. Those steps are as follows:

Identify all of the problem/s issue/s
Gather all relevant information
Identify options and alternatives
List options and alternatives along with their possible positive and negative outcomes
Make a decision by using the options that have more positives than negatives

4th graders ROCK!

Information regarding posts to Indiana Library listserves

The following was posted to readers of listserves of Indiana Libraries:

I have created a personal blog regarding Libraries in the State of Indiana. There are issues regarding Librarian Certification and the potential for consolidation of Public Libraries in our fantastic state. I simply want to effectively communicate the facts and provide a forum for public and professional opinions that is easily accessible; that's what Libraries do and that's why we ROCK!

The blog is located at:

NO comments on any Indiana Public Library Listserve will be copied onto my blog without the express permission of the author/s. Those listserves are for the sharing of opinions/ideas and are, in my opinion, simply sounding boards. If you are posting to the listserve and also wish for your post to be included, you may send the post to my personal e-mail address at: and I will see that it is included.

Regardless of the intent of the above referenced actions at the beginning of this post, now is the perfect time to have a long hard look at our organizations and see how we can contribute collectively to make sure our citizenry and our state are best served. Indiana Public Libraries are a “Class Act” and it is time for us to let people know just how fantastic we are (this includes our State Library as well and we would do well to remember it). Just because we administer Small Public and Medium Sized Public Libraries does not in any way mean that we are Small Minded!

This blog in no way reflective of the official thoughts and opinions of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library Board of Trustees, New Carlisle, St. Joseph County, Indiana. The blog is mine alone and is maintained by me while NOT on library time.

My personal opinions on the topics of Librarian Certification and the potential consolidation of public libraries in Indiana will be readily apparent as you read my posts.

Any errors or omissions are my own and corrections will be duly noted.

All The Best
Stephen Boggs

Thursday, October 11, 2007

OPINION: Library consolidation may not save property tax money

DO follow the Related Stories links at the end of the article for additional information on this topic.

From WSBT and WNDU television stations

Recent and relevant newspaper articles regarding current library issues

From the Chesterton Tribune:

My sentiments exactly

"Man, who'd have thought being a Librarian could be so tough?"
(Andromeda episode, "Harper 2.0." Line spoken by Gordon Michael Woolvett as Seamus Harper.)

Initial hearing in South Bend, Indiana with former Governor Joe Kernan

Notes from a meeting in South Bend, Indiana on Wednesday, October 11, 2007 with former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan. Governor Kernan is Co-Chair of the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. Please consult the following link for additional information on the Commission:

I was in attendance at the meeting in South Bend today where Joseph Kernan was hosting a meeting for the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. Local publication for this seemed scarce in my opinion. Had it not been for Jo Geleski from the Wakarusa Public Library many Librarians would have had little or no information that the meeting was to take place.

A reporter from the South Bend Tribune was there as well as reporters for two other local news channels. The format was different from what was held in Northwest Indiana and in Fort Wayne. Instead of break-out groups with moderators, the attendees were asked to sign-in, but Governor Kernan let those speak who wished.

The meeting was extremely orderly and productive with good ideas coming from all corners of the room. Governor Kernan gave an initial charge to the group that we were not there to discuss tax policy, but to discuss how and what could change to ease the burden on property taxpayers. He very kindly appreciated those who were there to comment on tax policy, but stressed that this "Is a meeting to help design local government to make it more cost effective while remaining responsive to the local citizenery." He stressed also that: "This is a meeting to allow the people to help make a difference by giving their input on what would or wouldn't work regarding the current tax situation."

The group included quite a few from Elkhart County including Connie J. Ozinga and two other folks speaking on behalf of the Nappanee Public Library. Also present were representatives from local volunteer Fire Departments, Township Trustees, Township Assessors etc.

St. Joseph County had representation from some, but not many, landlords, county government officials, township trustees/assessors and Fire/Ems myself representing the New Carlisle Public Library and Don Napoli from the St. Joseph County Public Library.

From Marshall County was a County Commissioner, Marsha Patterson from the Bremen Public Library and Jane Hall from the Argos Public Library

The Lake County Public Library was even represented by Larry Acheff (THANK YOU LARRY FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK ON THE ISSUE!)

Following is a very rough transcript of statements made during the hearing. Any errors or omissions are my own, so before you quote you'll need to contact the Indiana Commission for Local Government Reform for the official transcript. No tape recordings were made of the meeting. Full or first names are only noted as I was able to understand them.

Attorney from Elkhart: Liked the concept of Uni-Gov, counties should have a single assessor and then subordinates, not a County Assessor then Township Assessors, proposed regional correctional facilities instead of one for each county. Noted that additional taxes could be generated from corporate taxes. Average tax rate for corporations is 5%. Workers pay more than corporations. Corporations pay 6% of the tax bill and homeowners pay 94% of the bill. Noted that corporations can zero-out their tax rate.

Governor Kernan thanked him and agreed that who will provide the services of these local entities if they are closed.

Citizen of Elkhart County: Noted that Elkhart Public Library was responsible for 2.9% of the tax bill, but stressed that different communities have different needs.

Governor Kernan agreed that a “one size fits all” concept would not work in many situations

Landlord from St. Joseph County: Noted that many units of government were having to borrow and pay interest on borrowed monies while waiting for tax mess to be resolved, thus costing the taxpayers even more dollars.

Jane Hall, Director of Argos Public Library: Opposed the consolidation of public libraries, libraries only a very small part of the overall tax problem, but certainly willing to do what is necessary to help. Encouraged that if small libraries are absorbed into larger systems, that there is indeed the potential for closure if the larger unit decides a branch is not worth maintaining in that area. (More later on the position of the writer of this blog regarding the importance of keeping public libraries under local control.)

Person whose name I didn’t copy down: Don’t take government away from the people, agreed that current set-up is arcane, but there could be elements that are worth maintaining. Cities are deteriorating from the inside out. Felt that part of the problem was absentee landlords who depreciate their properties to nothing and then move on. Local landlords who have a vested interest in the community try to take care of their properties because they are proud of where they live.

(SB note: Don’t forget that the whole point of this is to SERVE THE PEOPLE and not let statistics entirely dictate everything. Statistics can be easily skewed to prove the point of the speaker and not necessarily reflect the entire situation.)

A Township Trustee from Elkhart: Says township government so far is being much more efficient than their counterparts in the cities. Noted the number of volunteer firefighters and paid firefighters in his district are doing more and costing the taxpayers less. We need a more objective tax assessment rather one that is subjective.

John Voorde St. Joseph County Commissioners: Consolidate the areas where consolidation will make the most sense such as Human Resources, insurance benefits etc. Recommended the consolidation of elections. Noted that the cost of elections was $400,000.00. Appointed boards could be an alternative to elected officials due to the cost of elections.

Governor Kernan noted that all communities are different and said this should be taken into consideration.

Taxpayer: Local Judiciary costs could be shifted to the state instead of being supported by the local taxpayers. Granted that this was just a shifting of the costs. Also mentioned shifting child welfare costs to the state.

Mark Egan St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce: Efficiency isn’t just about money. Need more shared/cooperative ventures between taxing entities instead of the current competition between agencies.

Taxpayer: Some counties need a Township Trustee while others still do. Some things need to be changed while some need to be aided because of how well they work. Townships seem to be an easy mark for consolidation, yet may be the most responsive to the people.

SB note: If consolidation is to occur, then let’s not re-invent the wheel. Keep that which works while changing that which isn’t. It’s the simple/common sense things that are going to be lost in the mix and the most difficult to understand.

Taxpayer: Why isn’t the Indiana Toll Road paying taxes to support the services that are being used? The rest of us have to. Isn’t the Toll Road a private entity now? What was in the agreement that exempted the Toll Road from paying its fair share? Should tax on the selling price of a home instead of what is currently being used.

Taxpayer: Get rid of city court and consolidate the judiciary system to one for each county. Some cities pay for things that they don’t use such as the Sheriff’s Department, yet they are paying for it.

Connie Jo Ozinga Elkhart Public Library: Noted that they have been able to pay for their branches without having to sell bonds. Will have hard time selling bonds to build new downtown building due to having no bonding history. Too much patronage in local government. New person elected and the entire staff leaves and the new person has to re-staff many areas. Need more professionalism in local government. Keep politics out of libraries. That is why the laws were made this way in the first place because there could/would be too much self serving/special interest aspects instead of getting the job done of serving the patrons.

Representative of South Bend Parks Department: Budget process is extremely detailed. Recommended a food and beverage tax such as has been done in other cities and more flexibility in local government.

John Leavitt Nappanee, Indiana: Very little county police coverage in lower half of Elkhart County, yet he is paying taxes for the entire county. Local Police ALWAYS help when needed even outside of the City Limits. No guarantee that if the libraries are forcibily merged that there is no guarantee that the local library will remain open. Noted that branches are frequently at the bottom of the “food chain.” Noted that very few if any taxpayers were present when the library held hearings about the upcoming years budget. No one complained.

Taxpayer from Elkhart: Misconception about Township Assessors. County Assessors handle appeals, inheritance taxes etc., while Township Assessors do all of the real property taxes. Assessors must be educated. Recommended that elected officials be educated for the jobs they are to perform. If they are not educated about how to run things, they shouldn’t be there. Outside vendors are not always a good alternative since they do not have a vested interest in the area.

Marshall County Taxpayer: Small towns face possible extinction with the loss of control of their schools, libraries and local government. Township portion of the tax rate is a small part of the pie. Schools take a majority. Need caps on the levies of the Judiciary. Agrees that one size fits all approach is not viable. Township Trustees are the front line of local government and are the ones closest to the people they serve.

Peter Mullen County Auditor Elect: Recommended an Office of Financial Management for the County.

Don Napoli Director St. Joseph County Public Libraries: Promotes consolidation of public libraries in the state. Noted all of the things that SJCPL is able to do that smaller libraries couldn’t even dream about doing. Stressed unserved areas of the state where library service is not available. Noted how Baltimore, Maryland system is extremely effective. Recommended library operating funds be paid for by income tax and that bond issues be paid for from property taxes.

Representative for South Bend Fire Department: Consolidation may not be good for entire state. Maybe if a particular area were over 200,000 people it would be good for those areas.

Larry Acheff Director Lake County Public Library: Kindly disagreed with the remarks made by Don Napoli. Stressed the one size fits all approach will not work for all areas.

Senior Citizen Taxpayer: Inquired about meeting held between City of South Bend and City of Mishawaka. Noted that meeting was last December and that nothing has been done since. Asked why people are penalized for maintaining their homes. Whenever an improvement is made taxes seem to skyrocket, yet those who let their homes fall into disrepair are given no incentive to turn things around.

Governor Kernan thanked everyone for taking the time to attended and sincerely appreciated the fact that everyone stayed on topic and worked toward a common goal.

Meeting concluded about 12:15 local time.

Save Our Small Public Libraries

The scope of this blog is to provide ALL information about the current Librarian Certification and possible consolidation of Public Libraries here in Indiana. My goal is to present an easy forum for the exchange of factual information and opinions.

I plan to post on what is happening regarding this issue, why it is happening and how we are going to help by giving options and alternatives etc. The better informed Indiana Librarians and their local taxpayers are, then the better we will all be. If we are not part of the solution, then we are part of the problem. I am willing to do what is necessary for the betterment of my community and my state.

PLEASE. Forward to me links to whatever is relevant to this issue and I will post it. Any information/articles/pictures/opinions/comments, whatever. I will not
censure what is provided. All I want is a fair chance for the public to
understand our challenges.

Maybe I should have entitled this blog as Save Our Small and Medium Sized Public
Libraries, but the acronym was too long to remember.


This blog in no way reflective of the official thoughts and opinions of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library Board of Trustees, New Carlisle, St. Joseph County, Indiana. This blog is my personal blog and is maintained by me while NOT on library time.

My personal opinions on the topics of Librarian Certification and the potential consolidation of public libraries in Indiana will be readily apparent as you read my posts.

Any errors or omissions are my own and corrections will be duly noted.