I received an email from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh inviting me to "keep your library strong by becoming a monthly sustainer," but I will not be partaking in this program since I am now an involuntary sustainer of the library with my property taxes.
The email states: "Making an impact at the library has never been easier." Well, yes and no. It certainly is easy in the sense that money is taken from me and given to the library automatically each month. But it is much harder in the sense that I must come up with that money each and every month for as long as I own my house, regardless of my personal situation. Otherwise, the county will seize it and sell it for back taxes.
It's a shame, too. During the library's open request for ideas last year, I submitted a similar monthly sustaining-membership idea with, say, a first crack at new books, longer borrowing times or lower fines for members who provide such support. Instead of the library using a more free-market approach in this way (where both sides get something they value), it convinced the county to take .25 mills of my property's value every year.
I also submitted ideas such as having an Amazon Wish List: I'd gladly buy books that the library needs and donate them, but I never saw such ideas listed in any discussions about the budget.
I love the library and want it to be around for my children and grandchildren, but since it doesn't seem like Carnegie Library tried everything (or anything, for that matter) to avoid resorting to the use of forceful government redistribution, I will never give it a dime. I might change my mind if the library stops forcibly taking money from (robbing) myself and my family.