February 16, 1995 in City

Free Library Cards For Kids One Solution To Squabble

By The Spokesman-Review
 

If there’s a middle ground in the squabble over charging non-city residents for using the city library fees, it’s well concealed under a tangle of nettles.

Bagpipes ventured into the thicket Tuesday, looking for creative ideas.

Gina Schrock responded this way: “I suggest that for children in District 81 who qualify for free lunch, perhaps the PTAs of those schools could give those kids a library card. I don’t suppose there are a lot of them up at Mullan Road and Moran Prairie (elementary schools). But if there’s a real hardship case, I would think the PTAs could supply library cards for those children.”

A couple of callers suggested reversing policy decisions on which they blamed the controversy.

One of them, Trudy Nesbitt, said: “Probably the best solution to our library problems would be to get a new director who … wouldn’t be buying computers that can’t talk to anyone else’s library computer. … If we could go back to the library system we had three or four years ago we’d be in much better shape and we wouldn’t have to pay fees.”

Others affirmed the need for a solution even if they didn’t have a specific one to offer.

“I just don’t think (library fees) should apply to schoolchildren, regardless of whether in the city or the county,” said Albert Gauntley. “They should be able to use any library. I’d rather pay a little more now to have the kids getting an education and learning rather than have them out on the streets with the dope and the sex and all the other things they get. It’s going to cost us a lot more money later on.”

But not everyone considers the city policy inappropriate.

“I’m a county resident,” said Cal Modisett, “and it seems perfectly reasonable to me that the city would charge those who don’t live in the city a fee to use the library.”

Walk in the Wild if you wish, but walk away

In response to Bagpipes’ questions about the fate of Walk in the Wild, development consultant J. Kent Adams faxed a copy of a letter he’d sent to a local business leader.

If Spokane County assumes the site and lets the zoo stay in place, Adams says, there should be a requirement “to have all (zoo) board members resign.”

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