Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

July 18, 2012

Fewer library hours the best deal possible with less tax money

One of the best assets the greater Goshen community has is the Goshen Public Library. The building is more than a library that houses books. It’s a place to expand one’s knowledge and explore the worlds created by authors from other times and other places.

That’s why we are sad to learn that a library board committee is recommending a reduction in hours to help balance the library’s budget. The committee proposes reducing public access by 6.5 hours weekly. The hours would be reduced in the mornings and expanded by a half hour on Saturdays and on Sundays.

We know the library board has a tough task of trying to balance reduced public financial resources with services offered. That’s why we can’t gripe or grumble about this proposal.

We know that retirees and people who work second or third shifts will be inconvenienced by the reduction in hours, but they will have a little more access on weekends.

Two things that are worrisome are that reduced hours might mean a longer line for use of the public computers at the library, and the building will be a bit busier all the time as the same amount of people visit during fewer hours. But we think the public will adjust to these circumstances. Overall, this proposal seems to be the best option.

The goal of the library board should always be to provide the best service possible while staying within the constraints set by taxpayers. We think this hour reduction does that.

And let us say this again: For a community the size of Goshen, we have a very good library and the services it provides are second-to-none. We are grateful for the people who have stepped up to oversee the library by offering to be board members. We know they are attempting to make the best compromise they can given financial constraints.

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