Bill, I respect your opinion, but the question is the adequacy of the Operation Snowbird Draft Environmental Assessment and whether a more professional Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should be done. Upon reading the document carefully, you find that the noise study upon which the minimal number of residences results leaves out the loudest aircraft...the F-22, F-18s, Harriers, and the helicopters. Garbage in, garbage out. It defies common sense that the Air Force can double the number of Operation Snowbird flights, introduce night flights and there will be a minimal impact on the residents.
The economic impact on Tucson from Operation Snowbird is minimal...in the area of $133,000 annually which is small in comparison to loss of revenue from tourism and lost tax revenue from diminished assessed value. Not many visitors want to come to Tucson to listen to F-18s and F-22s fly over the pool.
Sorry, but you lost me in your first sentence. I am still trying to identify the "National Air Guard" you mention.
The noise impacts on 17 (read it.. SEVENTEEN) maximum residences will not be significant. Perhaps you should petition the Mayor and Council to ban the use of sirens on police, fire, and medical vehicles. THAT should help you to sleep better.
While the pilots and support crews are here "on business", they tend to eat and relax in their off-hours. I am sure you can make up the difference in local business impact (if OSB is reduced or eliminated) by going out and eating, yourself.
To summarize, I support the efforts to maintain, and even expand, the Operation Snowbird programs at Davis-Monthan AFB. The base has been an integral part of Tucson for over 80 years, and is a major component of the local economy.
(30+ year resident under the NW flight path to/from DMAFB)
Being a library employee i feel people should be grateful for us getting rid of materials. If you only knew the condition these books come back in. Some examples would be bugs, blood, food, water damage (which turns into mold and spreads to other books and also causes breathing problems) and many other unkown substances.
I believe that Pima County's low ranking in the area of print materials is the result of a deliberate policy decision and not due to its being in a warm weather area. Four of the top ten ranking libraries in the Institute of Museum and Library Services survey I cited (out of 29, where we rank 28), after all, are located in California or Florida. And I don't think that the point that Starcommand makes, to the effect that "Did you know that tax monies allotted to library systems depend in part on circulation of items? Check stuff out more, and more money will be made available to the system..." is applicable to Pima County Public Library. As my article argues, the library has plenty of money to spend on books, and it spends that money, it just gets rids of those books, and very quickly. This policy is made even mysterious by the fact that its shelves sit half empty, so why not keep the many relevant and still contemporary titles that it discards, even if they don't get checked out as often as the library has determined is often enough?
The Immigration reform should be one of the priorities in the congress. this matter is taking people's life everyday and it is increasing. Humane borders are people who really care about life...we should support them!
Rosa, I guess I don't think what I hear about Arizona is 'increasingly disturbing.' Things come, things go, but I just don't get your fear-mongering. I do see euphemistic references throughout your editorial that point in a certain direction - 'healthier, brighter, more-inclusive future', 'new leaders', 'positive change', 'inclusive ... economy'. Is all this inclusive, new, positive, inclusive to indicate - illegal aliens? The first commenter seems to pick up on it, too. Maybe we're reading more into this than intended, and if so I apologize. But you refer in your response, to migrant families here in THEIR OWN LAND - are you referring to LEGAL immigrants? If so, I agree with you totally. If not, then I guess I don't - it just isn't their own land.
Hi riorican, thank you for your comment. You bring up a really good point. It's true that during the time that Cesar was leading the UFW, the union did not support amnesty for undocumented workers. At that time, I believe he thought he was doing what was best for the workers he was representing. I'm grateful our movements continue to grow and evolve. And that more and more we are understanding that injustice for some equals injustice for all. Today, the struggle that migrant families face here in their own land is one that we should all stand behind knowing that peace justice and equality for migrant families means peace justice and equality for all of us.
I enjoyed reading this well-written, mostly inspirational piece.
But what I must quibble about is when the author cited, Arizona-born, Cesar Chavez as one of her heroes.
Because from all that I've read about the "fabulous" Sr. Chavez is that he had a virulent, irrational hatred for the humble, poor folk that try to sneak across our border.
Which means what?
That the famous Cesar Chavez's virulent hatred for his south-of-the-border kinfolk has helped birth a taxpayer funded, multi-billion-dollar industry.
Which has been now become so very successful that should it have existed during the era of Sr. Chavez's grandpa and grandma, it surely would have kept them from ever emigrating up from Mexico.
Pima County's low ranking in the area of print materials per resident is largely due to its being a warm-weather area, with lots of recreational opportunities year-round (as well as being in a state with a tax-phobic conservative government, but that's another story). The highest-ranking areas, on the other hand, are in colder climates like the Midwest, where you want to have lots of books on hand when you're snowed in and can't go outside much.
Public libraries weed, for the most part, on the basis of item condition and circulation statistics. If more patrons treated the items they borrow more gently, libraries would not have to discard so many items on the basis of condition. Also, collection management is an art, not a science. Librarians can make an educated guess as to the circulation potential of a book or DVD, but if an item purchased for the collection stays on the shelf for a couple of years without being checked out, they really have no good reason for keeping it. It all comes down to patron interest. Did you know that tax monies allotted to library systems depend in part on circulation of items? Check stuff out more, and more money will be made available to the system (well, that is how it works in normal economic times). Also, if you as a patron want a particular title that is not in the library catalog, you can always contact the library to request that it purchase the title. If they note a modicum of demand, they WILL purchase it if the budget allows. Most librarians are helpful, caring folks who want their library's patrons to be satisfied with the services they provide.
It seems that "one trick Gretchen" the octogenarian obstacle course was once again doing a bit of sanctimonious bullying herself. Not that *she'd* ever call it "bullying."
OK, so now I really have a goal for trying to reach the age of 80. I want to be just like Gretchen when I grow up and I don't even have 20 years to work on it! Whether you call it bullying, being a jerk or just a simple lack of manners and common sense, Ms Gretchen is right. When someone is intruding on your space and you don't let them, letting animals go unleashed when the posted signs and the laws require one to leash their animal, when a big burly Marine or anyone else decides that you can be intimidated...and you can't....that's a very good day to help remind folks that using just a bit of common courtesy and common sense will almost always have you "doing the right thing." By the way, Ms. Gretchen, I bet you made both that police officer's day and the Marine's as well. The Marines I've met are pretty decent guys, and I bet that Marine never forgets you and you reminded him to mind his manners. Good on ya!
Good article and I am in agreement with you. One side comment: I ride my bike in my neighborhood on the street, as far right as I can get, and I would sure like for the walkers and joggers to get off the street and onto the sidewalks [wherever they are available].
People need to read more, gripe less! There is a book about that - "A Complaining Free World" by Will Bowen!
What does it say about an over-enthuastic weeding/culling/discard policy when books with a 2011 copyright date (and even 2012 date) are being taken out of circulation? I've seen these -- they are not in horrendous condition (broken spines, water-damage, etc.), only apparent victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
To try and redeem the PCPL's discard policy by calling on the panacea of ebooks and digital "transformations" is, I believe, a mistake. First of all, the PCPL policy of maintaining a poor book collection predates any meaningful use of ebooks, and so why should we think it do any better with ebooks? In fact, it could well be worse, as the publishers, always frustrated that they would sell a book to a library that would then be read innumerable times without any profit going to them, have banded together and are holding firm in their requirement that a library can only license an ebook from them for so many downloads (I believe the figure is 28), and then must buy the ebook again. PCPL itself acknowledges the serious problems it is facing regarding ebooks in this and other regards on its website (http://www.library.pima.gov/about/news/?id…), and so it is hardly possible to put this forward as a solution.
The other points here are also highly conjectural. Yes, there are a few books on highly specific and topical subjects that might be out of date by the time they're published, but this doesn't apply to the vast majority of books being published and read; to state that video clips of art are much more impactful than a two dimensional photo doesn't describe any meaningful experience of looking at, e.g., a painting by Van Gogh that I would recognize; and, yes, encyclopedias and dictionaries, where one is seeking discreet, concrete bits of information, are easier via digital forms, but that hardly applies to all areas of textual endeavor. Indeed, ebooks are having real problems trying to replace, e.g., the visual outlay and accessibility of the modern-day textbook.
In any case, the important point is that our library has for many, many years been quite content to provide Pima County residents with a sub-standard collection of books when no digital alternative exists (and which still doesn't). Such a library has a philosophical problem that is likely to continue even if there is a digital transformation. In my correspondence with the PCPL it is hard to get at the root of this philosophy, as they use a lot of terminology, such as having a "vibrant" collection (because a lot of books come and go from the collection). My sense, however, is that they have accepted a kind of corporate mentality in that each book must justify its place on the shelf by its popular demand in the same way that Barnes and Noble does, which is why their collection resembles that of a Barnes and Noble bookstore.
To RJFletcher: The point Dr. Stegeman was trying to make is that the president of the Board is not supposed to be publicly articulating any positions other than ones the Board has adopted. This clearly limits the ability of the Board President to argue for his own views outside the confines of Governing Board meetings. The fact that other Board presidents have ignored their responsibility to represent the Board...and not themselves...does not mean they were right to do so. In the not-so-distant past the real value of being Board President was in being one of only two Board members who had a say in setting the agenda for Board meetings. That is no longer the case so there is now little real value in being Board President...apart from having your face in the news more frequently than other Board members.
As far as intelligence goes, maybe you have not sat through countless TUSD Governing Board meetings, but I have. The level of intelligence (and knowledge about educational issues) among that group...apart from Dr. Stegeman...is truly pitiful. Do yourself a favor and actually attend some of these meetings before making such inaccurate comments. I may not agree with Dr. Stegeman on a variety of issues, but he at least can articulate reasons for his positions. The best the other Board members can do is regurgitate nonsense fed them by the superintendent to justify his own bad decisions.
Counting books and bookshelves today is akin to counting horseshoes and blacksmith shops 100 years ago. These are examples of transformative situations.
The Institute of Museums and Library Services recognized a number of transformations in its Public Libraries Survey Fiscal Year 2009 published in October 2011 (available on-line at http://www.imls.gov/assets/1/News/PLS2009.….
In the Executive Summary (page 15), it states in part:
“The nature and composition of collections in U.S. public libraries is changing, indicating the more varied types of materials found in modern public libraries. Although the volume of print materials has decreased over the past 10 years, collections overall continue to grow because of increases in the number of audio, video, and electronic book materials.
The role of public libraries in providing Internet resources to the public continues to increase. The availability of Internet-ready computer terminals in public libraries has doubled over the past 10 years. Internet PC use has also increased.”
A few observations to consider: (1) by the time a book is published, the material is often out of date, (2) video clips of art or travel are much more impactful than a two-dimensional photo in a book, and (3) the Encyclopedia Britannica embraced on-line publication and ceased printing books in March 2012.
Perhaps this is the time to consider forward looking metrics with which to evaluate our library system.
The collection development policy currently in use by the PCPL was put into place when the City of Tucson ran the library system. Former library director Agnes Griffen and her predecessors were the ones responsible for these policies. Years ago the El Pueblo branch had a great Chicano Studies collection. Then one day, the librarian was shoved aside and in came Agnes and her little army and gutted it. It's shameful what's happened to our library system. I remember very fondly how it was once stocked with practically anything you'd want. This was when it was located on S. 6th Ave, way before the mausoleum on Stone Ave. was built.
Not only is the library discarding perfectly in almost mint condition books they refuse to have a security system in place and hundreds of thousands of dollars of books are "walking" out the door never to even have a paper trail of what happened to them. This is called "loss rate" and the PCPL is terrible at this and DVDs, music CDs, expensive art books are goners with folks taking them with no security system to put a stop to this.
On top of this the library has been receiving 6 million dollars a year for their materials budget and almost one million of that is spent outsourcing the book jackets and processing to an out of state vendor. In addition the library is spending almost a million dollars a year on very expensive databases which they purchase on a contract with another poorly run library system -- Maricopa County Public Library. To spend one million dollars on databases which don't earn their keep (use statistics confirm this) borderlines on almost criminal since it's our taxpayer dollars being misspent.
The big flag in this the horrible management of the library by the Pima County Board of Supervisors with Chuck Huckleberry hiding the money that comes in and refusing to let the City of Tucson have any say in what was a once great library system.
Things should look up since the former director (Nancy Ledeboer) moved on to greener pastures and she was the one gung ho for getting rid of books, making shelves lower, exhorting the staff to go out in the community and push e-books over the print materials.
The library needs to have an audit and release the full statistics of the decimation of the collections from lost, stolen and never returned materials as a result of not having a security system. Even the local Circle K keeps better track of it's products better than the library. The library is top heavy in management with no one to keep an eye on the till.
Someone also needs to investigate the photocopy revenues that are flowing in -- all that money goes to petty cash, no receipts and that brings in over a 1/2 million a year with no paper trail. This is beyond the pale and that 1/2 million could fund a decent security system which the library had spent over a million putting in place before the former director dismantled it one month on the job back in 2005.
--What do you mean by "discarded?" Do the books go to the landfill, are they sold or what?--
The books discarded by the library are sold at the Friends of the Pimaa County Public Library and the money is given back to the library to fund various things the library sponsors.
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