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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 26, 2011 7:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was What the Occupiers are figuring out. The next post in this blog is Drowning in government debt. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to turn everybody off

Here's a classic Oregon tighty-righty public relations blunder: Start preaching about how Multnomah County ought to privatize its public library, or charge people to check out books. In case these guys haven't noticed, the public absolutely loves the free public library here, and there is simply no chance in heck that it's going to privatize it or impose user fees, any time in the next 40 years or longer. You might as well argue about how apple pie is evil, and Mom isn't that great, either.

When you pick a topic like the library and rub people's noses in your right-wing ideology, they remember. And when you come back later with a more meaningful diatribe against a true evil like "urban renewal" or streetcars, they automatically tune you out.

There's self-righteousness, and there's winning. We prefer winning; apparently Oregon Republicans do not.

Comments (44)

Amen

Yeah, I can't stand people who have a set of guiding principles and then apply them across the landscape without bending their knees to public opinion. How could anyone ever get elected on a platform of denying people all the free stuff they want? We are the 99 percent!

Did you read the report? The Multnomah Public Library system has a budget that is TWICE that of the Denver Public Library. And Denver has more branches and a much larger and newer central library. Seattle also has more branches and a much larger and newer central library and a budget 20% smaller than MPL.

I agree that it's ridiculous to speculate about charging library patrons to check out books. That's a stupid idea. But that doesn't mean that there isn't massive waste at MPL. That's worth pointing out especially when they're preparing to ask for even more money.

Thanks for the advice, Jack.

While you may have a point about being better at public relations, you should know that just because "the public absolutely loves the free public library here" doesn't mean that the public should not be confronted with the cost this "free" system imposes on those least able to pay so that upper income people can enjoy the "free" services.

I agree, this idea is an absolute non-starter in Multnomah County. According to this press release from the library, the only library system in the entire country with higher circulation is in NYC. Clearly the system is wildly popular here. Also, voters have demonstrated their willingness to raise taxes to support the level of service that they receive at the library.

John Fairplay,
Can you please explain how our library system can be both too expensive and free at the same time?

Did you read the report? The Multnomah Public Library system has a budget that is TWICE that of the Denver Public Library. And Denver has more branches and a much larger and newer central library.

Library costs involve MUCH more than branches and the size/age of the central library. Things like, oh, I don't know, book purchases, periodical fees, fees to transport things around the city, etc.?

the public should not be confronted with the cost this "free" system imposes on those least able to pay so that upper income people can enjoy the "free" services.

Er, "upper income"? You've evidently never set foot in a public library in Portland, have you?

What I notice are two things: the ever-shrinking number of books on the shelves and the ever-growing number of employees standing around looking to help people.

Fairly often I find that the library doesn't have even one copy of what I'm looking for. And browsing the shelves is more and more painful.

The folks at the library seem super nice but I'd like more money for books, please.

The easiest way to use the library these days is to find what you want in their online catalog and put a hold on it for pickup. Works well. The good stuff is usually checked out, and browsing the physical shelves doesn't usually yield much -- although I did recently snag a copy of Keith Richards's autobiography that way. A great read, if you didn't pay for it.

Steve,

While I appreciate many of the cascade policy's studies, I have to say this one points out a lot of things that simply don't bother me. I am the single earner of a family with a kid, and another on the way. Money is tight for us. I don't mind paying the extra $58, because I get so much more out of it that if I were to keep that $58 a year.

My wife takes my son to story time at the library twice a week. It started with Book Babies from infancy to 1 year. He then transitioned to Tiny Tots. Now he's ready to go up to the next level.

The staff at the library is fantastic. My son has really benefited from this free child education. He is two, but he now knows many letters of the alphabet, his colors and numbers. He is learning discipline, such as cleaning up toys, and he’s learning about music as the guy plays guitar as well. He is on his way to becoming much more prepared than his peers entering school. It has also provided him much needed socialization. Instead of days spent in front of the TV, he's socializing, learning and playing. His brain is growing and expanding. Thanks to those wonderful people at the library, whom I really can't despise making a low end living wage of $30,000 plus $6,000 plus $8,000.

Along with my son’s positive development, my wife has made a close network of wonderful friends. These friends are all like us, making ends meet and doing what we can for our children. We’re all in it together; we share coupons, can food together, and socialize. On a nice sunny day, two to four families from the library will go up to the zoo together. How nice is that?

Multnomah County has one of the best library systems in the nation. Every book I can imagine, every book that I have ever wanted to read, has been available to me at the library. My wife is really into crafting and knitting. We used to buy her craft books for $20 to $30 a pop, but now we realize that we can get them all at the library. She checks out probably 7 books a week.

Every movie out there can be checked out from the library. Sure, you have to wait sometimes, but you can still see many movies. Also, you can download music and audio books. My wife is also putting her Kindle to use, downloading free e-books. I would venture to guess that neither Denver nor Seattle have quite the number of services or selection that Multnomah County has. I can promise you they don’t have the number of users that Multnomah county has (see: http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Multnomah-County-Library-ranked--2-in-nation-127471408.html)

So, all of these benefits for my family really do add up. If I had no library system, I wonder what it would cost me in actual dollars.

Per month cost:
1 Kindle book: $10
15 hard copy books at an average of $15: $225
8 hours of pre-school low ball estimate: $50
2 audio books: $30
1 dvd: $15
One music cd: $15
Total: $345. $4,140 annually.

If we privatize, what will that really do to my bottom line? Yes, as a whole, the tax burden would decrease. However, I am sure that quality, quantity and service would need to be cut as well. If we’re talking about clerks making $30,000 a year being egregious, to what level will it become? Are we going to have uninterested people working for minimum wage at the library, serving an inferior product and less of it? Oh, and the CEO of this privatized library, he wouldn’t make a large salary, would he? I am sure he’d make over $100,000 or more.

So yeah, let’s save the hard working, struggling middle class guy like me $286 a year. Heck, that’s $19.67 a month. At least I could sleep better at night knowing that the folks on the hill in million dollar homes are saving $1,180 a year. Now why would anyone in Multnomah County be interested in this idea? Right now the library is dirt cheap for its users, so simple and the quality is high. I can’t wait to vote for this tax bond, as the library really increases the quality of my family’s life. And at such a bargain!

I worked at the Central Library during college. The library used to be a private association, a subscription library, started with the purpose of benefitting its members only. But in 1900, Portland merchant John Wilson left his library of 9000 to the Library Association of Portland (“LAP”) with the express provision that it be open to the public.

The 1901 Oregon legislature then enacted a law that allowed cities to levy taxes for the support of public libraries and specifically allowed Portland to contract with the private LAP to raise a public library in Portland. Eventually, Multnomah County took over the funding and support of the library, and the LAP became known as the Multnomah County Library. Many resources, however, still bear the "Library Association of Portland" stamp

The library employees established their own private union during the latter years of the LAP and were a true union, with officers working with fellow members and without compensation for their services. The occasional union meetings were well-attended, and all had an opportunity to speak and vote.

The LAP turned governance over to Multnomah County in 1990, and its board dissolved.

Generation One: private library. Generation Two: private library with free public use. Generation Three: Private library with free public use supported by the public. Generation Four: Public library with free public use supported by the public. Proposed Generation Five: Public library supported by the public and charging subscriptions.

Plus ca change, plus ca meme.

MJH

Duh! Winning!

I love the library.

I pay publicly for it in the form of taxes via levies that I have voluntarily imposed on myself.

I pay privately for the library when I return books, CDs and DVDs back late, which is more often than I would prefer or care to admit.

Cascade Policy Institute is a libertarian think tank. How does that make this report "Republican" or "righty"? One would hope a law professor would not confabulate the two.

Confabulate (to chat informally), or conflate?

PR blunder?

We're pointing out that Denver operates 22 library branches at an operating cost of $31 million per year while Portland has 18 branches for $62 million. I think the PR problem lies with Multnomah county.

Competitive contracting for labor is the only solution. Public employee unions elsewhere have found amazing ways to reduce labor costs when confronted with competitive bidding. Apparently the potential of mass unemployment has a way of focusing the mind.

I do agree, of course, that people love things they think are "free." They love the free public schools, free transit in downtown Portland, and free urban renewal money. Except that these services are actually quite expensive, because they are paid for via backdoor taxes.

Self-styled "progressives" should at least consider the benefits of abolishing regressive library taxes and replacing them with direct user fees, paid for by those who actually use the library (who are mostly those with high incomes and high education levels).

As I posted, you turn more people off with every word you write on this topic. Suit yourself.

I daresay that the vast majority of people who support the Cascade Policy Institute are Republicans. It's sort of like the Bus Project, only with fewer people and more money.

A public library is essential to any free society.

I'm not familiar with the diffs between Denver and Portland on it's library budget and services, but you can make the same argument between the wages of Chinese and American workers.

Racing to the bottom does not make for a better world.

If all the austerity folks really want to make a difference, start with the big rocks- like military spending and the totally unneeded homeland security.

The CPI proposal / recommendation may be dead on arrival regarding privatization of such a key component of our local government service and civic institutions, but you can't knock them for shining the light on the significant costs and, dare I say it, WASTE that the current system includes. Imagine how much more we'd get for our $61 million if it ran as efficiently as Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, etc.

Right Wing??? I thought all the taxes since Ivancie were raised by the Liberal( read Goldschmidt) Contingent. Portland and Multnomah County for that matter don't have no stinkin' conservatives... But there is a Hell of a stench in the North End of the Valley

This is right on the money.

There is an extreme right position that all things government are inherently bad and evil; and government actually does do some things well (or at least better than the private sector). Libraries, judging from public opinion and support, are definitely something that the public as a whole appreciates. Just like police and fire service - do we want to have a situation where you call 9-1-1 and if you aren't paid up, your house is allowed to burn down (or someone having a medical issue is simply allowed to die - so much for "pro-life", and now we have not death panels but "death by non-payment"?)

There is so much government waste and inefficiency, that to target an institution that is actually well accepted and received by a majority of residents is self-defeating. Yes, it might be a point worth bringing up that the library isn't free, but those that pay taxes seem to be OK with paying for it, as opposed to Development-Oriented-Transit streetcar lines that run around in circles, $35 million to destroy a 10 year old Streetcar track just so we can elevate it, a brand new bridge (when the Hawthorne Bridge about 10 years ago was rebuilt with the express purpose of having light rail go across it)...why waste the time attacking the library system? It's not worth it.

When it comes to things like regressive "sales taxes", groups like the CPI think nothing of cheering them onto the backs of people not fortunate enough to be prosperous. But if it's a chance to put the Public Library on a footing that takes a public resource that doesn't have a physical admissions booth and makes it into yet another profit center for commercial interests who dream of the money they can carve out of less-wealthy people's pockets, then - what do you know - all of a sudden they care about a regressive tax on the poor.

I doesn't matter how much or how little the Multnomah County Library costs. It could be the cheapest library in the known universe and they'd still call for it to be privatized.

The only reason any of these "policies" ever see the light of day is because someone, somewhere just isn't happy until everything the taxpaying public depends upon isn't converted into something that makes money … for someone else.

I don't buy what the CPI sells. And I vote.

Seems like CPI has bigger fish to go after, not sure why they are even defending this position.

The point of the report is to challenge the status-quo. Yes, Portland has very popular library system, but it also has billions of dollars in debt. If there are other options for running the library that could save money, why not explore them? In addition, it is wrong to assume that privatization would reduce the number or quality of services available, especially if Multnomah County simply switched to a more financially efficient contractor than a public labor union. Its a FACT that over 60% of the libraries budget goes to employee wages and benefits. Only a small fraction is allocated for collections and programs.

Now, on the issue of "rubbing people's noses in my right-wing ideology"...You raise an interesting point. People have become so accustomed to widespread application of both right and left wing ideology that even when something decent is published they just assume it is more political fodder. I can assure you, a good deal of thought went into writing this paper. I'm not a "hard core" conservative, right wing idealist, or tea-partier. I simply looked at the facts, asked "how could this system be improved?", and offered suggestions. My name would not be on the cover if I didn't think it was a relevant subject. If you have any questions or want to discuss political ideals, send me an email.

This is a good example for the definition of "tilting at windmills".

Self-styled "progressives" should at least consider the benefits of abolishing regressive library taxes and replacing them with direct user fees, paid for by those who actually use the library (who are mostly those with high incomes and high education levels).

Would you care to explain how a "library user fee" is less regressive than a property tax levy?

I may be mistaken, but if we were to attach a flat fee to every transaction at the library, lower income people will pay a greater % of their income towards the library than wealthy people with the same amount of use. Under the current system the wealthier person, who likely owns or rents costlier property, is paying more towards the library are they not?

Isn't a user fee actually more regressive if it causes lower income people to pay a higher % of their income than wealthier people?

"I'm not familiar with the diffs between Denver and Portland on it's library budget and services, but you can make the same argument between the wages of Chinese and American workers."

Denver's public library has a collection of 2.5 million items. Multnomah Public Library has a collection numbering about 2 million.

While I'm not familiar with Denver's library system I am well acquainted with Seattle's. Seattle also has about 2.5 million items in their collection and while I use and enjoy MPL- I believe Seattle's is better. Just compare their central libraries. It's like comparing a Mercedes Benz to a Chrysler PT Cruiser. And Seattle has a budget 20% lower than MPL.

Denver and Seattle have more branches, newer and better central libraries and larger collections - and far lower budgets than MPL.

What Denver and Seattle don't probably have are three employees figuring out the library's social media policy and a large and very active public relations department and on and on....

I bet significant cuts could be made at MPL without any inconveinance at all to its' patrons.

I guess if your purpose is noble enough you can shout down anyone with the temerity to review your bottom line.

That tactic used to work well for the Vatican, but YMMV.

Having said that, I'm still looking forward to the passage of a Multnomah Co. Library District. The added compression of a new tax district will strangle CoP tax revenues.

I think that will be the way Mult. Co. eventually convinces CoP to put a leash on the PDC, they should create as many independent tax districts as possible and let Measure 5's compression persuade CoP to retire their urban renewal credit lines.

Portland’s library is a great place and I have spent a lot of time there but its model isn’t the only way to go.

Here’s an interesting library that requires a membership http://www.milibrary.org/ . It is the Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Club in that nest of leftwing activity, San Francisco.

When I lived in Houston one of the museums had a very large donation jar at the front door and people frequently dropped a dollar or two in.

And maybe years ago the library board should have considered putting up a larger building and renting out part to pay the way for the library.

A few years back, the Mult. Co. library went to the Supreme Court to fight for the right to not block porn on the public computers it provides to patrons.

I've always wondered...did my tax dollars pay for that? Or did some law firm do it pro bono?

I don't get the criticism at all.

Ar there objections to Mult. Co libraries running on less money?

Because they think Mult Co libraries are twice as good as Denver libraries.

So paying twice as much is worth it?

That statistics quoted by the Cascade Policy Institute in their report, Checking Out the Options, are good as far as they go. That is the problem, they don't quite give a complete picture and it would seem that only the facts that support the conclusions made it into the report. I think this is a frequent problem when ideology informs the research.

The budget figures are correct, no quibbles there.

The number of branches (plus the central library for each system) is also correct. However, there is a glaring omission. The number of branches, doesn't necessarily reflect the number of hours open.

Hours Open to the Public.

Denver - 22 branches plus a central library. Many of those branches, however, are only open 4 days a week (Multnomah County's branches are all open 7 days a week). Denver open a total of 848 hours per week. Multnomah County is open 1027 hours per week. Denver is open 2.005 hours for every 1 employee. Multnomah County is open 2.075 hours per employee.

Seattle Public is open to the public more than Multnomah county at 1082 hours per week. With 512 employees, they are open 2.11 hours per employee.

The difference between the 3 libraries in hours open compared to employees is comparable. However, if you want to be open fewer hours, then Denver is a good model.

There is, however, one huge difference that was ignored. Sadly, I don't think by accident either. Another measure of a library is how busy they are - the number of items they circulate. Include that figure and you get a much different story.

Denver circulated a little over 9 million items in the time period covered by this report.

Seattle circulated over 11 million.

Multnomah County circulated over 22 million items. More than double Seattle.

Multnomah county is busy, wildly popular and doing a very good job.

Funny what didn't make it into the report.

All those unwashed, ordinary people reading the library books that our tax payments bought. It's an outrage.

Allan L

Start charging a fee for each item you check out, and that won't be a worry for long. I think it was pretty much crocodile tears on the part of the Cascade Policy Institute and their concern for the poor and their tax money going to the public library. Their description of library patron's being "upper income" just silly. Oh, they do use the library. But so do a great number of people who I would describe as "upper income". Evidently Steve doesn't spend a lot of time in the branches.

Christopher Robinson. "Yes, Portland has very popular library system, but it also has billions of dollars in debt."

Except, Multnomah County finances and runs the library. Not the City of Portland.

If you're right, and a great deal of thought went into the writing of this report, then the exclusions were on purpose. That's skating mighty close to intellectual dishonesty.

"Multnomah County circulated over 22 million items. More than double Seattle."

3H- how is this figure tabulated? If I renew a holding online does this number tick up one? Do other libraries use the same methodology?

What percentage of the items circulating are dvds vs books and other media?

How much did MPL spend promoting passage of measure 26-114?

What is the travel budget for library employees and why all the travel between California and Portland?

How many ftes does MPL devote to social media?

Let's continue to work on completing this picture.

3H: A significant portion of Multnomah County's circulation rate are renewals. If I check out a book, I can go online and renew it as many times as I want (unless someone puts a hold on it) and it counts towards the total. There are not 22 million unique checkouts annually.

Furthermore, the tax district would set the rate @ 1.18 per $1000 of home value. Someone with a $100,000 would be paying $118 per year. However, if you divide the total circulation by the number of actual registered borrowers (425,749) it comes out to 51 items per person. A 50 cent user fee would actually be cheaper, and there is no reason it couldn't be waived for lower income users.

Finally, this paper is very open ended. Nothing is set in stone. It isn't anti-library or pro corporation. I don't see privatization or user fees as some ultimate end-all. I view the library as a valuable public resource just like anyone else, but I think are potentially better ways to finance it than the proposed tax district. Thank you for your feed back.

Yes, libraries generally report the statistics the same. I do believe that renewals are counted as a circ, but I'm not totally positive about that. However, I'm very certain that when you compare circulation among the 3 libraries you are comparing apples to apples.

I don't have a break down by media. What point would you be making by that distinction?

The rest, I don't know. You seem to have an idea, so I'll let you post your findings.

I think it is perfectly fair, since they put the report out there for public consumption, to critique their selective use of facts without having to be comprehensive myself. If I were publishing a report, then it would be reasonable to hold me to the same standard as CPI.

Let's examine just one of the recommendations - that Mult Co should take competitive bids for the operation of the library system. The purpose of bidding is to find out what the market will bear for provision of a service. There is nothing that says you have to take the low bid, or change providers, but the bidding process tells you something about the cost of labor.

So for critics of this report, please tell me why you think finding out this information -- and sharing it with taxpayers -- is such a bad idea.

Christopher

How would you waive that fee? Would you require people to bring in their tax forms? The fact is, the poor would most likely stop using the library if there was a fee for each item checked out. Similar if patrons were charged an annual fee.

I don't believe I claimed they were unique checkouts. I can see how that impression was left, however. But now that you bring that up, is the ratio of unique checkouts to renewals significantly different between the 3 library systems? If the ratio remains the same, then the comparison does as well.

I find your report more less than open-ended (and that is not something you noted in the report itself) but deeply flawed. The suggestions you've made for funding I think, on the whole, are unworkable and will work against the poor.

There is nothing wrong with informing the public. What is wrong with presenting more of the facts? Including the ones that argue against the position and conclusions implied? When mentioning the number of branches, why not include the number of hours open to the public as well? Why not include the circulations statistics? There is significance to what is not included.

And, finally, what is wrong with my critiquing your selective use of facts? Nowhere have I said the public shouldn't have the facts. I just think they should have more facts than your report was willing to share. What could possible be wrong with that?

"I don't have a break down by media. What point would you be making by that distinction?"

First, I completely agree that libraries should remain free to everyone.

However, I'm willing to guess that more than 2/3rds of MPL's circulation is in dvds. MPL has a very large and deep dvd collection, probably better than any public library in the country. Certainly better than Seattle's. I think this accounts for most if not all of the difference in circulation numbers. For example, MPL has more than 100 copies of the third season of True Blood, there are as many as 500 holds on it at any given time. That alone accounts for 50,000 items. Multiply this by Dexter, any movie that's in demand and over the course of the year you have many millions added to circulation numbers. But does such a collection address a public library's main mission? Couldn't Netflix provide this service more cheaply and efficiently?

The main mission of a library should be to provide a place for disadvantaged kids with aspirations to study and explore. Libraries should also provide a place for isolated people (usually seniors) to come and read the paper, surf the net, or just hang out. If they offer esl classes too, so much the better. That's why I believe more branches (perhaps another branch in outer east Portland?) trump more circulation. The fact that Denver and Seattle are doing this for far less cost is worth looking into.

Multnomah Count has 340 holds on 103 copies for season 3 of Trueblood. SPL has 464 holds on 162 copies. Denver Public has 343 holds on 44 copies.

Oh, I checked Dexter as well. Multnomah County has 554 Holds for 93 copies, while SPL has 603 holds on 144 copies (Season 5).

Denver provides more branches, but fewer hours. Multnomah County Libraries are all open 7 days a week. Many of the Denver Public Library branches are only open 4 days a week. If you want to get disadvantaged children into a library, hours are just as important as the number of branches.

But, if we are talking about programming, and comparing us to Denver Public, here are some more statistics to ponder (these numbers are for 2010).

Denver Public had 6000 children's programs with an attendance of 150,000; 200 YA programs, with an attendance of 3000

Multnomah County had 14,643 children's programs with an attendance of 264,778; 2123 YA programs with an attendance of 13,560.

Book Budgets:

Denver Public spent $2,060,435 on print matierals.

Multnomah County spent $3,484,875 on print materials.

As for AV - Denver Public spent $1,524,680 on Audio visual material.

Multnomah County spent 1, 350,683 on audio and visual material.

Multnomah actually spent more on print than Denver public, and less on audio visual.

There is no magic here. There are trade offs. In order to reduce the budget of Multnomah County Library you will have to cut hours, services, and materials. If that is an argument you want to make, then absolutely take that to the voters. But lets keep in mind, if you compare Denver to Multnomah County, you are comparing different levels of service. Denver PL is not providing the same service at a much cheaper cost. Something that the CPI report fails to illustrate.

3h: You make some good points, however, you seem to be guilty of the same bias you found in the CPI report, only providing statistics that support your position.

It's worth noting that MPL's budget for employee wages and benefits has been increasing over the last few years while its' materials budget has been decreasing. No doubt to produce useless drivel like this: http://www.multcolib.org/products/mclpresents.html

It's also worth noting that the Library Journal gave a five star rating to both the Denver and Seattle libraries in 2010, while giving MPL only three stars.

Other highly regarded library systems like Cuyahoga County's are learning to do more with less, yet MPL is looking for more sources of funding when almost all government agencies are facing cut backs. And MPL is already among the best financed systems in the country.

I used to hold MPL in high esteem. I assumed that based on the age, size and condition of the central library and branches I visited, they were underfunded compared to other cities I've lived in.

Then along came ballot measure 26-114. We received at least a dozen flyers advocating its' passage. Who paid for this I wondered? That led me to do some research. I was very surprised to learn that not only was MPL not under funded, it had one of the highest budgets for systems its' size in the country.

Something doesn't add up.

We actually have an example of a city in Clackamas County (Damascus) that refused to endorse the new Clackamas County Library District in 2008. In 2009 Clackamas County informed Damascus residents that, since they weren't contributing tax dollars to the library, they would pay $50 for an annual library card.

In 2010, Damascus voters reconsidered and voted to join the library district.

If the people in Damascus can come to this conclusion, the Cascade Policy Institute is truly pissing in the wind.

I think you misunderstand my point, I am not attempting to be balanced. I am critiquing the report done by the CPI, and pointing out just how biased, incomplete, and flawed it is. There are a lot of facts they simply ignored and left out. I think the omissions were deliberate. I'm illustrating some of the very positive attributes of the Multnomah County Library. The story is not nearly as simple as the one they presented, and their claim of "what do you have against informing the public" was misdirection since they were not attempting to inform the public. They are attempting to sway the public with a highly selective set of facts that paint only the picture that they want the public to see. Just my opinion based on what they chose to exclude.

I have not problem with looking at how other library systems provide service to their patrons and coming away with good ideas. I think that is how a lot of libraries operate. See what works, and then see if it works for your own library. Ultimately, it will not be up to us... but will be up to the voters in Multnomah County. They can only do that if they get the entire picture. The good along with the bad.

I am not impugning SPL or DPL. Both are facing budget cuts, and I believe that both are providing excellent service to their patrons. Some communities spend more, others spend less. Libraries are very good at providing excellent service with whatever budget they are handed. The ratings from Library Journal are informative, and all 3 are considered star libraries, and as Library Journal itself pointed out: "By definition, service outputs don't measure quality, value, excellence, or relevance of services to the community."


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In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 341
At this date last year: 203
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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