Has the library turned into a glorified Blockbuster?

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I love the library. I currently have 4 books checked out, 3 holds placed, and 1 reserved waiting for me to check out. The Bellevue branch in particular is a specimen of beauty.

However, in the election next week, I’m hesitant to blindly check “yes” to support the tax increase for the library. During these times where families across the country have had to tighten their belts, shouldn’t the library do likewise?

And there’s this thing that’s been bothering me about the library. The Library has evolved from a book and reference repository to a glorified Blockbuster. Let me give you an example: a screen shot from the online catalog.

Yes, the library has Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Not only do they have it, but as you see in red – they have 147 copies of Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

I don’t think anyone would argue that Paul Blart is pure entertainment – there are no redeeming qualities of that movie from a learning or reference perspective. The fact that they have 147 copies is pure lunacy. This isn’t a outlier either. There are 104 copies of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. There are 105 copies of The Hangover.

The average home in King County pays $190 per year already to support the library. Assuming $10 per DVD, it took tax dollars from 8 homes to buy the Paul Blart DVDs. Taxes will increase by $30 per year on average with the proposed levy, and I’m sure the movie buying will continue.

If King County Libraries are going to continue to buy movies like this, I’d rather use that $30 to go to Blockbuster / Netflix / RedBox get a 30 movies I want, when I want it. The queue to get a particular movie at the Library is typically weeks.

I will be voting no on the library measure. I hope they can refocus their priorities on what it is a library should be there for.

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