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The Source: Future Still Uncertain For City And County Library Collaboration

Eileen Pace
TPR News

The city of San Antonio wants Bexar county to start paying its fair share of the San Antonio Public Library's bills. As San Antonio Public Library director spelled out on our program late last month, 19 percent of the public library system users are non-city residents who live in the county, so the county should pick up 19 percent of the tab, basically doubling Bexar's contribution from around $3.8 million to 6.3 million.

Judge Nelson Wolff thinks that isn't going to work. 

In a letter he sent to Mayor Ivy Taylor, the county already pays almost 20 times more than any other county pays to a city for library access. Some counties have their own library systems, like Harris county, and others have library districts that have unified budgets between the county and city to fund the public service.

Furthermore, argues the county, they have taken steps to serve underserved communities with their year-old program Bibliotech. The bookless library allows for downloadable books on ereaders they provide and on people's computers. They tout the success of this program and think it is the future of library use. They have expanded into a "sattelite" office s at the Bexar County Courthouse and Ft. Sam Houston, and have said they will have a presence in the Wheatley Courts area.

Will the county and city part ways? 


  • Judge Nelson Wolff, Bexar County Judge
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive