Sunday, February 1, 2009

MIS for 2/2

From Public Library Use in New York City:

"In these neighborhoods, extra efforts and, therefore, extra funds are necessary to increase the circulations of the library branches. With the current funding system of budgets being proportional to circulation figures, the self-perpetuating cycles of under-utilization in disadvantaged neighborhoods will continue."

Such a blatently obvious statement, but libraries just don't even think to do things this way. Economicaly speaking that is poor allocation of resources. Afterall, the system as a whole will be suppar, and in the case of New York, a stellar library in Manhattan doesn't make up for the fact that libraries in Harlem or the Bronx are failing, and to be failing in the mission of the library to provide literary materials of merit to all citizens is a poor reflection on the system. When money is there, making the Manhattan libraries more spectacular should be discouraged in favor of bringing failing libraries up to par, for at the end of the day New York is responsible for the whole library system, and their tax dollars, investments, and private funding are donated to the system more often than a particular branch, so it is time to stop spending massive amounts of money to make superb libraries minimaly better and to start spending money to make failing libraries significantly better. In this way, the whole system will be using scarce resources at optimal efficiency to enhance the intellect of all patrons and community members of the United State's largest city.

1 comment:

  1. That seems like a very sound idea. If only there was an easy button for things like this. I can't help but thinking that some of these branch libraries are just in areas where it is not meant to succeed. Whether it be poorly planned zoning, or the demographics of the would be patrons in the area, no matter how much money you pump in you may see minimal results. It's like the restaurant in a town that seems to change ownership and franchises every two years. It may have great food and great workers but just isn't in the right location.