It turns out the Koch brothers think libraries (or at least government-funded public libraries) are a bad idea. As usual they are throwing their money around, this time dropping the big bucks in a small Illinois town to defeat a bond issue to support the local library – read the full article here. No, this isn’t a parody.
Plainfield IL is trying to raise money for a new library building. The library is currently an anchor for downtown and is a much-loved and heavily used part of the community. They are asking for a 20-year bond and a small increase in property taxes…The Plainfield Library came up with this after years of focus groups, surveys, and public town meetings. The leadership of the library worked closely with community leaders and stakeholders to create a comprehensive plan that would give them cutting edge library services in ways that the community values. This is good old American democracy in action, a public institution needs an update, the community gets involved, a shared vision is formed, people move forward. That is how America is supposed to work.
But that was before a Koch-funded super PAC brought in a team of professional political operatives to shoot down the plan. The wort part of this story? The library lost.
Update: And it’s not just Plainfield, Illinois. It turns out that the Koch brothers are also going after public library systems in Kansas.