07 Oct

Municipal Election Candidates on Support for Juneau Libraries

Summary of Candidate Responses Compiled by Lori Klein, FoJPL Secretary The Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries provided assembly candidates with some information about library usage in Juneau, highlighted the benefits of public libraries, and asked the candidates two questions:

Do you have a library card?

Do you support continued funding for our libraries at present levels? If not, why not?

Below are the responses from those candidates who replied to our inquiries.

Joshua Warren I’ve known that the library served a lot of people but those are some pretty impressive numbers. In regards to your questions I do have a JPL card, not sure when I got it but it might have been ever since I could sign my own name. Although the rules might have been different when I was that young. I was a common user of the “temporary” library position in the Mendenhall mall. I would fully support funding the library at current levels – or above. I know that the library offered voluntary furloughs of its staff in order to help balance the budget. While this is laudable it is also sad that it was needed. The library provides many essential services and I don’t see it as solely recreation like some people might. Not only is there a multitude of great books for people to check out but the library also provides other services that would be hard to replace and are needed. Having the free internet access available helps solve the digital divide. As more jobs become available only to those that can apply online denying a large sector of the population easy access to the internet will only serve to keep them in poverty.

 

Tony Yorba 1. No, I do not have a library card 2. I would support funding of libraries at present levels if funds permit. As you know, CBJ is expecting significant deficits now and in the future, and there is no consensus on how to rebalance the budget at this time.

David Fox When I moved here one of the first items I obtained was a library card. My daughter and I are bookworms and info junkies. However, I do not have a current card. I do take advantage of the friends of the library facility in the Valley. I have donated and bought many books from them. Funding for the libraries must be done reasonably and efficiently regardless of budgetary constrictions or levels from year to year.

Maria Gladziszewski Do you have a library card? Yes! Do you support continued funding for our libraries at present levels? If not, why not? I am very supportive of libraries. They were a key part of my childhood as a kid in an urban neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. I remember vividly trudging to the library and hauling home stacks of books that I would devour, only to trudge back with the stack. I don’t know the full details what we will be faced with next year with the city budget will be up for consideration and there will be tough choices ahead but I can tell you that I believe that libraries are an important part of our community.

Jessie Kiehl Do you have a library card? : Yes I do. So does my wife — and both of our daughters. I’d prefer to see us restore funding to bring back the library hours we cut in the most recent budget. Libraries play such an important role in our community. Because the Assembly didn’t finish the hard decisions to put our city’s budget on a sustainable path this last year, we’ll be looking for new revenue or deeper cuts next year. In this budget environment, I don’t think restoring funds is likely. I hope we can prevent any further reductions.