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Chicago Public Library Head Fires Back At Fox Chicago

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 2, 2010 6:30PM

2010_07_02_8mile.jpg This week's post on Fox Chicago's story on libraries certainly got folks talking. Among them were the city's librarians who have now fired back at the suggestion that libraries are, perhaps not needed. Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey wrote a letter to Fox reporter Anna Davlantes, who anchored the story, in which she lays down the statistical thunder regarding library usage in the city.

I am astounded at the lack of understanding of public libraries that your Monday evening story, Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money? revealed. Public libraries are more relevant and heavily used today than ever before, and public libraries are one of the better uses of the taxpayers’ dollars. Let me speak about the Chicago Public Library which serves 12 million visitors per year. No other cultural, educational, entertainment or athletic organization in Chicago can make that claim.

She also challenges Jim Tobin's claims about the CPL's budget and salaries, breaking down everything the CPL budget has to cover and says of Tobin, "He is simply wrong." It's easy to be harsh on city departments and agencies over mismanagement, but we're glad to see the CPL respond to the story.