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To patrons of the Marshall-Lyon County Library and branch libraries in Cottonwood and Balaton

July 2, 2014

To the editor: At a special meeting held on June 30, the Marshall-Lyon County Library Board (MLCL) voted to rescind its earlier decision accepting terms that would have allowed the library to......

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Jul-12-14 9:05 PM

Fine... I get the politics and the indignation and the personality conflicts and the bureaucracy... you are the board and go ahead and fight... But the bottom line is that if you take away inter-library loan services for more than a week or so, you are not taking care of your customers. As a customer, your political/philosophical stand is not worth the decrease in my services. FIX IT!

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Jul-09-14 7:32 AM

You realize how stupid that sounds, don't you? The PCLS is made up of libraries, not Mark Ranum.

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Jul-08-14 2:42 PM

Yes FK they are afraid of Ranum. And autonomy is not assured because we are Federated. Ranum would like to consolidate PCLS so his dictums to PCLS and PL would be the same. Remove all books over 5 years old, all donations to local library go to him to decide how to use.

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Jul-04-14 8:04 AM

In regards to autonomy, I've wondered why the other affected libraries hadn't voiced any concern regarding the PCLS. Perhaps they're too afraid of Ranum and what could happen to them? (sarcasm)

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Jul-03-14 12:24 PM

You all realize that PCLS libraries already have local control over their buildings, materials and staff, so MLCL trying to "mediate" for those is pretty silly. They already had that power, so why was it even in the agreement? PCLS is a federated system of libraries, meaning that they are all independent for the most part. It is not a consolidated system, like Pioneerland just north.

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Jul-02-14 11:01 PM

Shock! Someone mentioned the possibility that Marshall will raise local sales taxes. Again. And property taxes.(we want, so we tax)(other peoples money)

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Jul-02-14 6:22 PM

Its pathetic that Marshall feels the need to lie to their patrons. That must best way for MLCL to get what they want and not tell their patrons that they are getting screwed over in the process. Now that Marshall has No state funding, and No funding from the county, we are going to be stuck listen to them begging for handouts. Not to mention the high future probability of higher property taxes and local sales taxes.

It is however great to know that there is a library nearby in Tracy that follows the rules. I am heading over soon. I hear for only $25 I can get full and permanent access to all of Plum Creek's items and to MnLik items as-well because the Tracy Public Library is a member in good standing with Plum Creek and with the state of Minnesota.

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Jul-02-14 1:14 PM

Ms. Sturrock, if you or other MLCL staff/board members are reading this, you need to know how important interlibrary loan is to many of your patrons. This letter mentions "consider[ing] patron requests for purchase of materials" and "expand[ing] our collection via alternative resource sharing arrangements". Unless these additional materials & expanded access add up to a collection equivalent to that accessible via the statewide MnLINK system, though, it won't cut it. I'm probably unique but most of the books I'm interested in are *not* in Marshall. And they often might be found in the mnLINK system in only one or two libraries.

Thank you for everything you've done building up the library so far. I'm truly grateful and do trust that you have the interests of your patrons in mind. Please do everything you can to make this situation right.

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Jul-02-14 1:13 PM

I've been thinking about this more. I think it's completely justified for us to feel upset that this decision affects interlibrary loan and other services. It's clear though that this is making MLCL staff feel a bit beseiged, which isn't good for anyone.

So the challenge is for those of us who feel that way to not let our anger consume our judgment. The fact is, the library board and staff HAVE done a nice job building the facility and collection. Given the size of our community, it really is a nice facility and something to be proud of. Despite our frustration with this decision, we oughtn't make them feel as though we are ungrateful for what they've done right so far, because we ARE grateful (or *should be*, if we're not). As mentioned on another thread, whether or not it was right to cut ties, there may be legitimate reasons for them to have felt like in certain ways Plum Creek was taking more than it was giving back.

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Jul-02-14 9:14 AM

Honestly, at this point, who cares about the mediation process or Mark Ranum's salary or the MLCL board's frustrations!!? YOU made the decision to CUT services without asking US! At least we had an automation system to interlibrary loan books. Why are you punishing us, YOUR patrons, who use the library daily, weekly, monthly? Because you are mad about a salary and a mediation process?! As a local patron, I really don't care and that isn't a justification. What benefit do I get as your library user when services are LOST? Patrons DESERVE an explanation - this letter just doesn't cut it.

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Jul-02-14 9:05 AM

There are 22 other libraries in the PCLS besides MLCL. Surely if Marshall's complaints were legitimate they would have found supporters in the other member libraries. They didn't. This all started because Marshall refused to follow the same rules every member library agreed to abide by. The MLCL board's decision not only affects Marshall; they have also cost Balaton and Cottonwood services. This action by the MLCL board violates state law. The county has been clear that it cannot make up for the loss of state funding. You can write all the explanatory letters you want, but it doesn't change the fact that the board made the wrong decision for the wrong reasons.

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Jul-02-14 7:38 AM

The main benefit and purpose of PCLS is to provide shared resources with members through an online browsing, checkout and delivery service. This service has not been available to MLCL patrons for some time

No kidding. We lost that privilege because MLCL decided to be selfish by not sharing its newly acquired resources.

You can't belong to a larger group which has an established policy on sharing, and then decide you're going to follow your own policy.

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