Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Novel Idea

Last month, the Bella Vista Library Board, rejected the idea of charging fines for overdue books. Beginning next month, "to better accommodate working people and families," the Bella Vista Library will operate with expanded evening hours two nights a week. All services, including Internet access, will be available to local residents until 8 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday evenings beginning January 12th. It appears that the Bella Vista Library manages to provide this expanded service with only six employees backed by 50 volunteers. Of course, being in Benton County, they are not open at all on Sunday.

The Fayetteville Public Library Board asked the City for an additional $26,000 to extend service hours on weekends, but the request was withdrawn after the recession whacked the anticipated basic operating revenue from the Fayetteville Public Library Foundation. The library is presently open until 8 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and until 5 p.m. on Friday through Sunday.

Mayhaps the weekend hours at the FPL Blair Library could be extended without additional tax dollars if we had more volunteers taking on basic tasks and allowing flextime for the professional staff to extend services on weekend evenings? Please consider becoming a volunteer if you think you can pass the required criminal background checks, which are less onerous than the Siloam Springs body cavity searches.

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