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Old 06-12-2008, 01:34 AM
 
746 posts, read 2,864,273 times
Reputation: 247
Default Why Austin has no public library system(at least SEEMS that way)..

I thought it was because of the usual suspects, so I dug up a JUICY expose on greedy developers and city council members who give them all your tax dollars as rebates, and they said why......as follows:




"In August, city development staff made a presentation to a subcommittee of the Austin City Council on existing incentive agreements. Council members wanted to review the effectiveness of this program. The presentation estimated that the city had committed itself to $80 million in development incentives. Yet a Texans for Public Justice review of the underlying agreements found that this estimate omitted at least $37 million of program costs, including subsidies from city-owned Austin Energy and rebates of city fees.

The total $117 million cost of the city’s incentive deals is equal to the city giving away the average annual property-tax revenue for 128,635 homes.3 The city says it must divert some public funds from such public assets as parks, libraries and public safety programs to entice private businesses to generate jobs and economic growth.

Yet the city counts torrid growth among its most urgent challenges and it even earmarked $5.4 million of its 2008 budget for managing this growth. For the foreseeable future, businesses will continue to invest in Austin en masse without a publicly subsidized handout. While depressed areas can make an argument for such incentives, does publicly subsidized growth constitute smart growth in the Live Music Capital of the World?"





For the whole report, by the Texans for Public Justice, click on the below:

Watch Your Assets

 
Old 06-12-2008, 01:47 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,294,965 times
Reputation: 132
I don't know what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks you're talking about. In fact, most of the time I don't know what you're talking about....jibber jabber jibber jabber...

Do you even USE the library? I do. I've used it at multiple branches. I've used it downtown. I've used it online. You go in, you choose books, you check them out.

Can someone send SoCo1234 a map? He doesn't know where a single one of the 22 branches of our public library are.

[SIZE=2]
  • The Austin Public Library has 20 branches, the John Henry Faulk Central Library, and the Austin History Center.
  • The Library's current budget is $21.1 million, with 331 FTE staff members employed throughout the System.
  • 456,009 are registered card holders (66% of Austin's population).
  • Systemwide holdings are 1,705,805.
  • Customers visited the Austin Public Library 3,264,727 times last fiscal year and checked out a total of 3,373,408 items.
  • 119,398 volunteer hours were donated in 2005/2006.
  • 898,204 customers used the public Internet computers in 2005/2006.
  • 5,664,817 virtual visits were made to Austin Public Library's Web site in 2005/2006.
[/SIZE]
 
Old 06-12-2008, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
2,333 posts, read 5,129,045 times
Reputation: 891
I know the library system isn't as good as it should be(in fact, for a city as educated as Austin, this is shameful), but it's relatively adequate I suppose. Some of the branches are newer and very nice. Some of them are not. The one nearest to us is in a grungy strip mall They are building a new one on Dawson/S 5th, so that will be a big upgrade. But we use the system weekly for books, CDs and movies and have found it mostly decent.

I'm a music guy though, and the music score collection is practically non-existent. I've been told that I can get a membership at UTs library...must look into that...

I anxiously await for the new main branch downtown(2014 )

jibber-jabber...jibber-jabber...

Last edited by twange; 06-12-2008 at 02:51 AM..
 
Old 06-12-2008, 02:38 AM
 
746 posts, read 2,864,273 times
Reputation: 247
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJinAustin View Post
I don't know what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks you're talking about. In fact, most of the time I don't know what you're talking about....jibber jabber jibber jabber...

Do you even USE the library? I do. I've used it at multiple branches. I've used it downtown. I've used it online. You go in, you choose books, you check them out.

Can someone send SoCo1234 a map? He doesn't know where a single one of the 22 branches of our public library are.






[SIZE=2]
  • The Austin Public Library has 20 branches, the John Henry Faulk Central Library, and the Austin History Center.
  • The Library's current budget is $21.1 million, with 331 FTE staff members employed throughout the System.
  • 456,009 are registered card holders (66% of Austin's population).
  • Systemwide holdings are 1,705,805.
  • Customers visited the Austin Public Library 3,264,727 times last fiscal year and checked out a total of 3,373,408 items.
  • 119,398 volunteer hours were donated in 2005/2006.
  • 898,204 customers used the public Internet computers in 2005/2006.
  • 5,664,817 virtual visits were made to Austin Public Library's Web site in 2005/2006.
[/SIZE]
Moderator cut: OT
What do the OTHER folks on here think, especially the relocatees who have seen other systems? I reserve my judgement..

And I didn't say that Austin has no libraries.....just that it seems like it.....they hide them well...and sometimes in strip malls......next to Planet K stores and tattoo shops....the God's truth!

Last edited by Trainwreck20; 06-12-2008 at 09:47 AM..
 
Old 06-12-2008, 08:05 AM
 
383 posts, read 1,035,749 times
Reputation: 179
Moderator cut: orphaned

I believe the citizens of Austin recently approved a $90m bond package (proposed by the City Council) to further improve the APL system. The resulting new Central location will probably be the envy of the entire counrty.

For what it's worth, I consider myself a fairly glass-half-empty type of citizen but you surely do take the cake in that regard. Your incessant anti-Austin posts are now so frequent that I could set my watch by them.

Last edited by Trainwreck20; 06-12-2008 at 09:47 AM..
 
Old 06-12-2008, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
4,930 posts, read 9,603,872 times
Reputation: 3389
The last few times I visited the Central Library it stunk of B.O. each time, as homeless people hang out and check email.

The suburban libraries are perfect for parents and kids and are more than adequate. We were in the Oak Hill library a month ago checking out books and a video and it was very busy and well used. When the kids were younger (in the 1990s), my wife regularly took them to the book readings and story hours at various libraries around Austin.

I'm sure people can find somthing to complain about, especially if coming from a place with bigger, better libraries, but what Austin has seems fine to me.

Steve
 
Old 06-12-2008, 08:31 AM
 
437 posts, read 1,253,104 times
Reputation: 142
Compared to the Providence area (heck, the entire state of Rhode Island) I find the Austin area library system excellent. Maybe my standards are low, but I really don't know what the problem is. I have utilized both the Cedar Park and Round Rock libraries, and my husband uses one of the Austin libraries downtown (I'm not sure where, but he works on Congress Ave, so wherever the closest one is) all the time. We're very happy with the libraries here.
 
Old 06-12-2008, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Austin 'burbs
3,226 posts, read 9,790,745 times
Reputation: 693
The libraries aren't as grand and accessible as the ones in the Seattle area - but I think they are just fine. I can compare the two because I actually live here.

Last edited by Trainwreck20; 06-12-2008 at 09:47 AM..
 
Old 06-12-2008, 08:53 AM
 
383 posts, read 1,035,749 times
Reputation: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by austin-steve View Post
The last few times I visited the Central Library it stunk of B.O. each time, as homeless people hang out and check email.

The suburban libraries are perfect for parents and kids and are more than adequate. We were in the Oak Hill library a month ago checking out books and a video and it was very busy and well used. When the kids were younger (in the 1990s), my wife regularly took them to the book readings and story hours at various libraries around Austin.

I'm sure people can find somthing to complain about, especially if coming from a place with bigger, better libraries, but what Austin has seems fine to me.

Steve
Because you can have anything in the entire APL catalog delivered to a specific branch location, there seldom is a reason to go to Central.

After researching titles on Amazon, I thoroughly enjoy using the APL website to have stacks of books delivered to my branch. It makes me feel like I just saved $100.
 
Old 06-12-2008, 08:56 AM
 
Location: central Austin
4,601 posts, read 6,688,508 times
Reputation: 1887
Crazy! I was just in the Twin Oaks library today. yes, in a strip mall but so what? It had great books for me and my 10 year old to check out. We'll be back there later this week.

I grew up in a country with a separate taxing library district! And we had very nice libraries. But I like how Austin's are dispersed in the community. And with TexShare (gives you access to UT library and SEU's library) and interlibrary loan, you can get anything you could possibly want.
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