Friday, March 30, 2012

"Thanks, but no, thanks." What the Rich never say when given the chance to name something.

Not that it matters to you, but the City of West Palm Beach Public Library recently traded its identity to the Mandel Foundation for $5 million.

But here's why it should matter to you:

I oppose any selling of public libraries to for-profit or non-profit entities when that sale requires the library to change its name.

The (former) City library has about a $3,900,000 budget for 2012. So that $5 million donation covers a little over a year of taxpayer money. I mean, city taxpayers cough up $4 million each year, yet they don't get to keep the name of their library. Someone offers one million more and he gets the library. (But maybe I'm reading the budget wrong; "Report Totals $3,888,274". That could be for something else. I'm not good with numbers.)

If you believe that public libraries exist as a part of the community, as physical and cultural landmarks that support and represent the local residents, then you should get a little pissed off when someone with a big bag of money swoops in and steals that local ownership.
"The West Palm Beach Library Foundation, which seeks grants and large donations for the library, is offering library naming rights.
The library can be named in your honor for a $5 million donation. For half that amount, the children's library on the third floor can bear your name.
For as low as $10,000, you can name the foundation office, staff lounge, study rooms or assistant director's office, with plenty of naming rights available for various donation levels."
--- from somewhere, google it.

No, this isn't a joke. I might cough up the 10k just so I can name the staff lounge, "Get Your Lazy Ass Back to Work."
"The gift to the West Palm Beach Library Foundation will be awarded in the form of a grant, ... With this significant and notable gift, the West Palm Beach Library will be renamed in perpetuity, as the 'Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach'."
--- somewhere else.


Gift = no obligation.
So this is not a gift.

And maybe you've heard, but the New York Public Library has become the Stephen A. Schwarzman Library. Because a rich guy named Stephen A. Schwarzman had a spare $100 million burning a hole in his pocket. And all the hospitals were already taken.

Money is only paper, but a book is the soul. Or paper, too. I just made that up, so the concept is still a little fuzzy.

I don't know anything about Schwarzman; he could be a nice guy. He could be an obsessive My Little Pony collector, or eats spaghetti with his fingers, or a bad tipper. I don't know, but it doesn't matter. His name does not belong on the library.

What if the library got one of these different sponsors?
  1. The Lysol Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Public Library.
  2. The I'm Lovin' It, McDonald's McCafe and Public Library.
  3. The Halliburton Energy Services Group Petroleum and Natural Gas Earth-raping Public Library.
  4. The RealTouch Teledildonics Remote Sex Hook-up Public Library.
  5. The Tea Party Public Library... Is Closed to Illegals Public Library.
I don't even know if anyone would have protested any of these changes if the alternative meant higher taxes. "Teledildonics? That's them remote-control vaginers? That's okay."

Where are the rich individuals who want to help out without taking credit? Why did they need to change the name of the library? And how much is this going to cost?

The (former) West Palm Beach Public Library has about 100,000 cardholders. So they need to replace those cards with ones with the new name? What is that, about fifty cents each? What else do they need to replace? Everything?

The (former) West Palm Beach Public Library owns the domain, which I guess is now worthless to them. They also own which is now just a joke since the library is NOT your city library, but the Mandel Library That Your Taxes Pay to Support.

Really, why can't some rich person Just Say No? Say, "Here is some money. Maybe you can put a little plaque over here on the wall by the restrooms. But no pressure. I just want to help."

1 comment:

  1. If you're going to sell your soul, why would you sell your soul IN PERPETUITY? I want to bid that out every 7 years. It's like they don't even have an agent.