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The South Community Library has served La Crosse at nominal expense for my entire life and was the first library I ever used as a child. Like Mayor Tim Kabat, I’m baffled by the recommendation of the library board to close it.

Library director Kelly Krieg-Sigman appears to be undermining Kabat’s campaign promise to support and revitalize neighborhoods. We should fix this budget shortfall with a sharp budgetary knife, not a  chain saw.

By all accounts, this branch acts as much more than a warehouse for books. It serves the community with numerous functions that are the essence of strong and healthy neighborhoods.

One would expect that Krieg-Sigman would volunteer to reduce her salary if this branch were closed as her duties would be diminished. All employees of this branch are part-time, costing the city very little to staff.

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I cannot conceive why Krieg-Sigman would suggest such a crude method for saving a few dollars when balanced against the magnitude of established and ongoing services and programs supported by this branch.

This is a worthy library accessible to numerous South Side neighborhoods, and is accessible, especially children, in ways the main branch cannot be.

But the south branch is so much more than a library. Just what would be a higher function and use for this property? I suppose we could use the back lot to burn all those unnecessary books.

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(23) comments

Redwall

The earlier news article printed by the Tribune did not mention the alternatives discussed that would keep the library open but cut costs in other parts of the budget (I am assuming alternatives were discussed). The real story went unreported (again).

My list for cuts: millions for the Black River beach house, $750,000 for the new Hixon bluff top rest area, $300,000 "must have" to dredge Swift Creek (to make it swifter I suppose), $3 million to move and upgrade the Riverside band shell, and on and on.

And since when is it the Library Director's job to offer a proposal to balance the City's budget? Rather odd to say the least.

LAX Liberty

How are you going to "cut" the millions already spent on the Black River Beachhouse? I agree it was wasteful and unnecessary, but it will get Andrea Richmond reelected.

Mind of Minerva

There is no library in my neighborhood and we just do fine. If we need to go to the library we drive to the Main Library...so can you. Don't worry, you'll be alright.

Cassandra

Take a quick look at the results of today's poll and see how many ignoramuses NEVER visit the public library. A corollary question would be "How many books do you read each year?".

People who deliberately deny themselves the opportunity to explore new ideas are many of the same who scream the loudest and claim to have all the answers.

Sigh.....

FUBAR

What is wrong with you Cassandra? Visiting a library has nothing to do with literacy!!! I read a lot, I have a basement full of custom made book shelves to house my books. ( I usually keep what I read) I just happen to buy my own books. "Exploring new ideas" has nothing to do with a freaking library. Have you seen today's technology? For goodness sakes, you think people that don't do the things you did as a kid are idiots. I think you need to "explore" new ideas and new technologies to expand YOUR mind!

Mind of Minerva

I NEVER go to the library, but I bet I have read many more books than you have this year...and I don't read Harlequin romances either!

I have read well over 2000 pages this year so far on the subjects of history, the US Constitution, economics, and social issues to name a few. Amazon.com is just as effective as any library and I bet some of the volumes that I have read recently are not available in public libraries. I find that they too often only carry books that fit into the liberal agenda.

Mind of Minerva

...and I do supplement those reading with internet research to challenge myself and to prevent from falling into logic traps, left wing fallacies or right wing hypocrisy.

Napoleon

Padesky's wrongheaded focus on this woman is way off the mark: the libraries are underfunded because City Hall spent our money on stupid things such as TIFs for local business fat cats.

"TIF Abuse Buoys Downtown Fat Cats, As Neighborhoods Suffer"

http://www.progressillinois.com/posts/content/2011/12/05/tif-abuse-buoys-downtown-fat-cats-neighborhoods-suffer

FUBAR

"Library key part of neighborhoods"

They are not! Maybe back when kids didn't have much else to do. How much do we pay these librarians? I bet we pay more to a tax payer paid librarian who hands out free books than the manger of a for-profit business makes at Barnes and Noble.

superman

Yikes, let's hope not.

Deadwood subscriber

You'd be wrong.

Sure, admin makes okay money, but the rank-and-file librarians are closer to 22K per year (this isn't even getting into how many are full time vs. part time), much less than a B&N manager.

FUBAR

I very much doubt it Deadwood. A school LMC worker makes more than that. Show me a stat from a source that tells us how much a librarian makes.

Librarians working in public elementary and secondary schools made an average of $59,610 per year as of May 2010, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The average annual salary for librarians across all fields was $56,360 per year as of May 2010, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The highest-paying type of public postsecondary school for librarians was local government-run four-year colleges and universities, which paid an average of $66,780 annually.

Librarians employed by local governments earned an average of $50,340, and those employed by the federal executive branch earned the highest wages of their profession at $80,480 a year

HUMMMMMMM, a little far off with that 22k?

Cassandra

Oh, yes, the kids have so much else to do. Like sitting at home on their obese butts, playing expensive video games and being ignorant and complacent and headed for a life of wage slavery.
God forbid they actually engage their minds and explore the world around them!

wind

If these numbers are correct, there should be some room for cuts while still maintaining the libraries. These numbers seem too high to be true.

LAX Liberty

Shut the whole mess down! $5 MILLION + for book sharing programs? It's utterly ridiculous.

superman

Greg would love a world without education. It would be a far easier one to brainwash...

superman

I sure do hope HEART of LAX includes Greg Luce and his pack of wing-nuts in next years show.

Mr. Emil did a spot on Craig Nester!

Deadwood subscriber

Because all they do is share books. Absolutely nothing else.

That's like saying the only thing the Tea Party cares about is getting brown people out of the country.

LAX Liberty

Mz Sigman made $92,842.69 in 2011.

http://lacrosseteaparty.com/index.php/salarysearch

superman

Jealous?

LAX Liberty

The many paying for the wants of the few. How American.

superman

Like the many paying for walkway over the interstate, just it can be adorned by the artwork of a few societal reject squatters.

Deadwood subscriber

Good to know you hate all the rural roads in 'Merica.

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