Bangor, ME (GlossyNews) — The Association for Library Associations’ director June Cleaver spoke to reporters this week to unveil a new library management scheme. Ms. Cleaver, resplendent in pearls and a powder blue dress, was upbeat on ALA’s new business model.
“We all know funding is tight in recessions. Now is the time for the ALA to leverage the flight from book retailers as a revenue stream. Selected ALA members will begin charging an annual fee of $10 for each issued library card. Each borrowed book will cost $1 and we think that’s fair. Use of a whole book for more than a week, well it’s quite fair when one considers the retail cost avoided. There won’t be any cost for library PC use, until we get them configured with coin slots. We’re working with Diebold, and we think twenty-five cents per hour is reasonable.”
The ALA director went on to detail a ‘naming rights’ plan simultaneously under way. She told reporters that hopefully, corporate sponsorships will soon be secured, so expect to see Taco Bell, Shoe Carnival, and other logos adorning local libraries soon. “Participating libraries will dispense coupons, and receipts from sponsoring retailers can be redeemed for a free book rental.”
Ms. Cleaver fielded questions from those concerned the new ‘pay as you read’ plan goes counter to the vision of Ben Franklin, founder of our lending library system. “Oh yes, Mr. Franklin. I don’t think he’d wish to see libraries reduced to the inability to purchase new books. I’m sure he’d agree that user fees make sense in these times.”
Glossy News has always promised a higher level of journalism, so this reporter was not content with platitudes, not even from the elegant Mayfield matriarch.
“Ms. Cleaver, you understand this proposal is fundamentally anti-American, right? Free access to information, even to the poorest, is an American birthright, and you’re stomping on it for some quick bucks, wouldn’t you agree ma’am?”
Cleaver responded, displaying her legendary composure. “Well, this is just like the time I told Ward, ‘you sure were rough on the Beaver last night’ and then I baked his favorite dessert. Hmm, that’s a very private marital matter, not sure why I brought it up really. But to your question? This is ‘fend for yourself’ America now, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it newsboy.”