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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Chicago commissioner defends library funding | Alison Flood | Books |

Chicago commissioner defends library funding | Alison Flood | Books | "Chicago's public library commissioner has hit back at a report on WFLD Television that suggested libraries are a 'waste of tax money', saying that the argument posed by a story broadcast on the station was a 'non-starter' and that a contributor who suggested salaries in the public sector were higher than those in the private sector was 'simply wrong'.

First aired last week, the television report on Chicago's libraries was mistakenly attributed to Fox News in a Guardian story earlier today. The American television channel WFLD, owned by News Corporation's Fox Television Stations group, questioned whether libraries are still needed.

'There are 799 public libraries in Illinois. And they're busy. People borrow more than 88m times a year. But keeping libraries running costs big money. In Chicago, the city pumps $120m a year into them. A full 2.5% of our yearly property taxes go to fund them. That's money that could go elsewhere – like for schools ... police or pensions,' the report said. 'Libraries are quiet havens for the community. They can take you to another world ... But should these institutions – that date back to 1900 BC – be on the way out?'" More...

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