A wide-reaching set of recommendations issued Tuesday by the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform calls for the consolidation of a number of public institutions, including libraries. The blue-ribbon commission appointed by Governor Daniels recommends the consolidation of all library districts into county-based systems. Interim director of the Monroe County Public Library Sara Laughlin says that recommendation would be moot in Monroe County.
The report, titled “Streamlining Local Government: We’ve got to stop governing like this,” indicates that 400,000 Hoosiers in 38 counties currently live outside a library district. Laughlin, who is past president of the Indiana Library Federation, says she anticipates many smaller library districts will resist the change.
Laughlin says many smaller districts enjoy the ability to make their own decisions. She says smaller libraries have a hard time meeting standards because of limited budgets, but she adds county-wide consolidation could help smaller libraries that are plagued by poor building conditions and inadequate technology.