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Hidden Cost Of San Francisco Bay Area Public Libraries--And Thoughts About Regionalization

Hidden Cost Of San Francisco Bay Area Public Libraries--And Thoughts About Regionalization

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Published by wmartin46
This posting contains a letter sent to most San Francisco Bay Area Elected Officials about the hidden costs of SF.BayArea libraries, with some thoughts about regionalization.
This posting contains a letter sent to most San Francisco Bay Area Elected Officials about the hidden costs of SF.BayArea libraries, with some thoughts about regionalization.

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Published by: wmartin46 on Jun 17, 2011
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Bay Area Elected RepresentativesSan Francisco Bay Area Governments
Subject: Hidden Cost of Public Libraries
Elected Officials:Most of the time, local governments will only publish their general fund expenditures intheir yearly budgets, while shuffling their on-going capital projects to capital budgets, butnever providing the public a complete recapitulation of the total assets held by eachmunicipality. Since most municipal property in the SF.Bay Area was purchasedanywhere from 50 years ago, to perhaps one hundred and sixty years ago, the true cost of Bay Area Municipal assets is probably lost to the ages.Public libraries tend to following this model of not documenting their assets, or long-termmaintenance needs, in a way that helps the public understand what the cost of operatingthese facilities might be.The following table, based on data collected during 2000-2005, attempts to demonstratethe size of, and the cost-to-replace, the various public libraries in the SF.Bay Area--
Holdings of Bay Area Libraries.
 
Replacement Costs of Holdings of Bay Area Libraries.
 
Replacement Costs of Bay Area Library Buildings.
 
BuildingSpaceCost /
 
HoldingsSquare ReplacementHoldingsCityPopulationHoldingsReplacementFeetCost(@$1200/sf)Value
SAN JOSE 918,800 2,038,713 $40,774,260 249,768 $299,721,600 7.4SAN FRANCISCO 793,700 2,208,749 $44,174,980 508,272 $609,926,400 13.8OAKLAND 409,300 1,151,616 $23,032,320 195,467 $234,560,400 10.2FREMONT 208,000 347,804 $6,956,080 82,444 $98,932,800 14.2SUNNYVALE 134,000 261,807 $5,236,140 68,532 $82,238,400 15.7HAYWARD 144,000 189,665 $3,793,300 33,256 $39,907,200 10.5CONCORD 124,200 78,518 $1,570,360 12,640 $15,168,000 9.7SANTA CLARA 104,600 302,000 $6,040,000 52,400 $62,880,000 10.4BERKELEY 104,300 434,748 $8,694,960 122,000 $146,400,000 16.8RICHMOND 101,700 312,030 $6,240,600 37,800 $45,360,000 7.3SAN MATEO 97,550 280,000 $5,600,000 47,192 $56,630,400 10.1SAN LEANDRO 81,100 315,780 $6,315,600 80,300 $96,360,000 15.3REDWOOD CITY 76,700 197,749 $3,954,980 57,200 $68,640,000 17.4ALAMEDA 74,300 178,573 $3,571,460 27,000 $32,400,000 9.1MOUNTAIN VIEW 72,200 256,382 $5,127,640 60,000 $72,000,000 14.0UNION CITY 68,308 89,026 $1,780,520 12,000 $14,400,000 8.1MILPITAS 63,800 212,066 $4,241,320 19,500 $23,400,000 5.5S. SANFRANCISCO 61,700 164,323 $3,286,460 35,060 $42,072,000 12.8
 
PALO ALTO 60,800 400,000 $8,000,000 55,803 $160,000,000 20.0SAN LORENZO 59,954 108,069 $2,161,380 11,867 $14,240,400 6.6CASTRO VALLEY 57,702 100,100 $2,002,000 10,239 $12,286,800 6.1SANTA CRUZ 55,000 227,877 $4,557,540 88,993 $106,791,600 23.4CUPERTINO 51,300 312,614 $6,252,280 37,000 $44,400,000 7.1WATSONVILLE 49,500 111,000 $2,220,000 22,000 $26,400,000 11.9NEWARK 43,050 76,284 $1,525,680 15,000 $18,000,000 11.8CAMPBELL 47,707 160,000 $3,200,000 24,000 $28,800,000 9.0DUBLIN 36,005 82,307 $1,646,140 15,005 $18,006,000 10.9HOLLISTER 35,650 75,948 $1,518,960 11,236 $13,483,200 8.9MORGAN HILL 34,600 157,565 $3,151,300 13,900 $16,680,000 5.3MENLO PARK 31,250 132,000 $2,640,000 34,000 $40,800,000 15.5SARATOGA 30,200 179,948 $3,598,960 18,000 $21,600,000 6.0FOSTER CITY 29,150 80,000 $1,600,000 23,708 $28,449,600 17.8LOS GATOS 29,100 114,000 $2,280,000 13,900 $16,680,000 7.3BURLINGAME 35,900 221,835 $4,436,700 49,900 $59,880,000 13.5LOS ALTOS 28,100 214,501 $4,290,020 28,050 $33,660,000 7.8SAN CARLOS 28,050 72,000 $1,440,000 21,836 $26,203,200 18.2BELMONT 25,450 46,000 $920,000 5,684 $6,820,800 7.4IRVINGTON 25,379 45,616 $912,320 5,760 $6,912,000 7.6MILLBRAE 21,000 60254 $1,205,080 9,680 $11,616,000 9.6HALF MOON BAY 12,100 66,000 $1,320,000 7,825 $9,390,000 7.1SCOTTS VALLEY 11,550 42,758 $855,160 5,300 $6,360,000 7.4CAPITOLA 10,200 28,381 $567,620 4,300 $5,160,000 9.1LOS ALTOS HILLS 8,025 N/A N/A N/A N/AWOODSIDE 5,425 23,000 $460,000 4,776 $5,731,200 12.5GILROY 43,550 127,007 $2,540,140 12,800 $15,360,000 6.0ATHERTON 7,275 27,000 $540,000 4,790 $5,748,000 10.6BRISBANE 3,650 17,660 $353,200 2,271 $2,725,200 7.7EAST PALO ALTO 30,350 34,048 $680,960 7,680 $9,216,000 13.5PORTOLA VALLEY 4,510 22,000 $440,000 3,500 $4,200,000 9.5 
Totals:
 
12,385,321$247,706,420
 
$2,816,597,20011.4Holdings In On-line Private Libraries/Retail OutletsOn-Line Books
 
HoldingsCost ToReplacePublic-ownedSq. Ft.Cost ToReplaceBuildingsHoldingsvs. Space
Google/Books (approx) 3,000,000 $0 0 $0 N/AInternet Archive (approx) 3,000,000 $0 0 $0 N/AAmazon.com (approx) 1,000,000 $0 0 $0 N/A
Totals:
 
7,000,000$0
0
$0N/A
 Note: This data may be a little dated, but believed to be more correct than not.
 
Sources:
 CA State LibraryVarious Bay Area Libraries (Direct Contact)Google, Internet Archive, Amazon.com
By:Wayne MartinPalo Alto, CA
Buildings vs Holdings
The right-most column offers an insight never found in library-produced performancedata—the ratio of building costs to holding costs. While the cost of the buildings andholdings is probably unknowable, the cost-to-replace costs are easily estimated. Fromthese numbers the “fact” emerges that most public libraries are about big, expensive, buildings—not holdings! The typical Building Cost vs Holding Cost ratio is in the 5X-15X range.
Non-Resident Fees In Santa Clara County Library District
The Santa Clara County Library District has created a bit of a stir in the “it’s all free inthe library” world, but finally admitting that non-residents are heavy users of their facilities, and that it is time to charge non-residents for access— 
SANTA CLARA COUNTY LIBRARY DISTRICTNEWFEE FOR NON-DISTRICT RESIDENTS’ LIBRARY CARD
:
http://www.santaclaracountylib.org/services/nr_fee_faqs.htmlThis new fee is in response to the collapsed economy that has resulted in the State’s nolonger providing subsidies for non-resident use of public libraries around the state. Whileit is understandable that such a fee would be considered by some libraries/systems, thequestion as to whether the fee itself justifies the cost of non-resident use is open toquestion.
Regionalization
This leads to the obvious realization that virtually all of these libraries do exactly thesame thing. The all use the Dewey Decimal System to classify books. They all use somesort of library automation that reduces the amount of tedious work required of librarystaff. Some of these libraries use RFID/AMH library automation (back office) to reducethe “heavy lifting” needed to move/sort/stack books on shelves, which represents a never-ending task for traditional libraries.

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