Our library is cheap at the price

Glenn Rice (Enterprise, July 11) complains that Davis’ Stephens Branch Library charges too much for photocopying. Glenn Rice compares the library’s charges unfavorably to those of Fed Ex, Office Max and Copyland.

Tell me, how many books can I borrow for free from Fed Ex, Office Max or Copyland?

Glenn Rice also compares the Stephens Branch Library charges unfavorably to those of the UC Davis Shields Library. Not only is the UCD Shields Library not a public library (as far as I can tell from its website), but the university receives annually something over $400 million in student fees. Not all of that sum goes to the library, of course. However, I wouldn’t mind betting that the Shields Library is more heavily subsidized than is Davis’ Stephens Branch Library.

If we will not pay sufficient taxes to keep vital public institutions operating, the institutions themselves need to charge us. An extra 13 cents per copy (by comparison to Copyland) seems to me a small price to pay for one of the most important public institutions in any country, namely, an otherwise free library.

Sandy Harcourt


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