I read with interest Paul Barada’s column proposing that the Rushville Library should become a county facility.
Way back in 1990, shortly after I became publisher of the Rushville Republican, I approached the director of the library, informing her that I wished to put the entire resources of the local newspaper behind a drive to convert the city library to a county library.
The director actually turned pale, and in a stunned voice, she declared, “Oh, we could never do that!” When I asked why, she gave me a litany of reasons, none of which I remember, probably because they were invalid. I suspect that the main reason mentioned was the anticipated outcry from Rush County’s wealthy farmers at the rise in their taxes.
My county library crusade was very short-lived. I knew that without the full and active backing of the library management that such an effort would surely fail. I was not aware, until reading Paul’s column, of the effort in the ‘70’s to accomplish the same desired goal which resulted in ignominious failure.
The story that Paul cites of the old fellow who didn’t want to pay a library tax because he couldn’t read perfectly illustrates the point that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” wherein a small number of people with loud voices, who will go to the trouble to show up at the critical time, can overshadow a vastly larger number of people (voters) who won’t take the time to participate.
The Rushville Library should have been a county library generations ago, just like libraries in surrounding (and more progressive) counties. Perhaps the time has finally come when such a worthy goal can be accomplished.