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I know we pay taxes to fund public libraries, but are we getting a value from an author, artist, etc. without exchange for fair payment? When I check out material from the library, it kind of feels like cheating.

asked Feb 09 '11 at 17:22

Donovan's gravatar image


edited Feb 09 '11 at 17:39

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

While it is not appropriate for the government to forcibly to take your money to pay for the library. Given that the library has forcibly taken your money, if you find value in the library, you should go, and it is not immoral to do so. The immorality occurred whey they took your money. Artists and authors are compensated for their products in the library and some individuals actively pursue getting into libraries as a form of marketing for the exact reason dream_weaver mentions. It gives shoppers a "try before you buy" option.

We are faced with this problem of acting morally in the face of massive immorality every day of our lives. When we take our morning shower (if you live in a city) you shower with water provided by the government. When we take our morning medicine we take medicine that was "blessed" by the government. When we eat our breakfast (unless you grow it all yourself) we consume food that has been inspected/poked/prodded/massively regulated by the government, when we drive to work we drive on roads that we are forced to pay for, etc. etc.

The library is not a special case in all this. In order for us to live in a society that nominally, but not completely recognizes individual rights and individual freedoms we will be participating in / obtaining services from entities that we know to be immoral. What we can do however, is to pick some battles, and to fight them.

answered Feb 10 '11 at 09:03

John%20Hoffman's gravatar image

John Hoffman ♦

Authors, artist, etc. posit their works with the opportunity to take into consideration that their materials may be made available via public libraries. We paid our taxes, and part of those taxes are earmarked to purchase these materials to be made available via the library venue. If you check out material from the library and find something of value, you have the option at that point to further support the artist's efforts with the discretion of purchasing your own personal copy.

answered Feb 09 '11 at 22:42

dream_weaver's gravatar image

dream_weaver ♦

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Asked: Feb 09 '11 at 17:22

Seen: 1,169 times

Last updated: Feb 10 '11 at 09:03