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Nancy's Note 10-25-07

Library Funding “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini, “Blaze” by Stephen King .

I threatened a couple of weeks ago that I would inform you as to how the public library is funded. Both city and county support of public libraries is mandated by the Iowa Code. The Code does not mean each city must establish its own library. Rather,  cities without a library, contract with a neighboring public library to provide service to their residents. A tax of at least $0.0675 per $1,000 of assessed property is required by the Code. No public library could keep their doors open if it were funded at this level so most cities fund their libraries far above the minimum. The cents per $1,000 assessed property value in 2006 averaged $1.17 statewide for city funding and $.021 statewide for county funding. Per capita the average spent per city was $31.90 while the counties averaged $13.15 per capita. A special library levy
(also called the 27 cent levy) is a potential source of additional funding for public libraries allowed by the Code of Iowa. The Code allows cities to levy an additional tax of up to $0.27 per $1,000 assessed property valuation for support of a public library. There is a petition and referendum required to pass the levy. The levy question is put on the ballot in regular city elections, held in odd numbered years. Our local library has not used this levy.
    Khaled Hosseini well known for his best seller, “ The Kite Runner” is back with “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. This book has also hit the best seller list. The story is set in Afghanistan and spans three decades of Afghan history. It is the story of two generations of characters brought together by the sweep of war where personal lives struggle to survive, raise a family, and
find happiness. His story covers the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding.
    Many of you may know that Stephen King wrote under the name of Richard Bachman until 1973. In 2006 King found the transcript for the last of his Bachman books among some of his papers. He decided that with a few revisions it ought to be published. The book entitled “Blaze” is the story of Clayton
Blaisdell, Jr. and crimes committed against him and the crimes he commits. He has been a slow thinker since childhood when his father threw him down the stairs. After escaping form an abusive institution for boys when he was a teenager, Blaze hooks up with George, a seasoned criminal who thinks he has
all the answers. But then George is killed and Blaze is on his own.