Libraries worth the extra taxes | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | Apr 08, 2018

I love the Sno-Isle Libraries system – and especially the Edmonds Library! I loved the old Edmonds Carnegie Library from the day of my first visit, when I was 7. Thousands of people love their own branches of the Sno-Isle system.

And if the Sno-Isle Libraries levy Prop 1 fails – which it must not – that will mean that every one of our beautiful libraries will suffer.

Without the passage of the April 24 levy, library staff in Edmonds and in every other Sno-Isle library community will be reduced, hours of operation lessened, library programs limited, guest speakers curtailed, orders for new books and other materials diminished, and a welcoming place for community members of all ages will be locked and dark several more hours a week.

By the way, earlier I started a cute little column about the year my big brother found the Golden Egg at the Edmonds City Park Easter egg hunt when I was 7. I really wanted to find that egg.

But tonight I realized that the Sno-Isle Libraries system, which belongs to you and to me and to our friends and neighbors and to everyone in each of 23 communities, needs my support. And it needs yours. So the Easter egg story might show up next year.

The April 24 levy will enable our libraries to continue today’s levels of operations and services for an additional seven to 10 years. My small bit of research – I do not like research – leads me to believe that the increase in annual taxes for many homeowners would cost in the realm of from one to three family pizza nights out, depending on where you go for pizza.

Or perhaps one tank of gas for a pickup truck. Two Mariners games with good seats and two hot dogs and two beers, if you have a large, lovely home. A night at the movies for a family of four – perhaps with buttered popcorn and sodas. One more week between haircuts.

The thing is, what the library levy will cost every homeowner will be richly repaid in the gift of quality-of-life for the community. I know my examples sound flippant, but I am trying to emphasize that the increase in taxes to support libraries ought not require a change in lifestyle.

I apologize if my examples are way off. I already said I don’t like research, but I gave it my best shot, and I honestly believe the financial impact on most individuals and families will be worth the relatively small sacrifice.

Having said that, there’s the sad issue of residents taxed to the point that they can’t afford to stay in Edmonds. That is definitely a separate issue and a much weightier one.

What will communities notice if the levy fails – which I believe it must not? One of the greatest sources of education, entertainment and encouragement for kids of all ages would diminish in quality and accessibility.

Unhealthy influences bombard our children; libraries exert positive influences and enrich their lives with dozens of offerings. They can read, study, get help with homework, participate in STEM activities or other special programs, build LEGO structures, play chess, attend story hours, use computers, browse bookshelves, and request one-on-one instruction in operating various devices.

Kids can buy used books from the Friends of the Library for small change. They can sit by the fish tank and think deep thoughts.

In fact, if you have any question about the value of maintaining the hours and services of our libraries, I hope you’ll stop by, have a look around, maybe even sit by the fish tank and think your own deep thoughts.

I hope those deep thoughts lead you to say “yes” to Sno-Isle Libraries on, or before, April 24. There’s a ballot drop-box east of the entrance to the Edmonds library.


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