Letter to the Editor

Why do we have to pay a fee?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

To the Editor:

I recently moved back to Brazil after 34 years in California, where I was the proud holder of three library cards.

Since I am an avid reader, one of the first things I did was go to the library to get a card.

I was absolutely dumbfounded when I was told I had to pay a $25 per year fee to use this public library. The only reason was because I lived outside the city limits.

Unless I am totally blind or can't read, the building says Brazil Public Library, not Brazil City Library or Inside City Limits Only Public Library.

Isn't a public library for all the public or is Brazil for only a selected public? Am I the only one who sees this as a form of discrimination?

I realize that whomever decided to charge those not living within the city limits to use a public library must fee the $25 fee is a small amount -- about $2.50 a month -- but for those like myself, it may as well be $250.

The mayor told me that the commissioners were the ones that decided to charge a fee for certain citizens of Brazil. If they are city commissioners, why are they located in the county courthouse? If they are county commissioners, why are they making decisions about the library?

Did the commissioners arbitrarily decide this on their own or did they put it to a public vote by those that live within the city limits? Do they have no clue how hard it is to try and live on an extremely small, fixed income or do they just not care?

Is this how Brazil has decided to treat the senior citizens and the hundreds of others who have Brazil addresses but live on the wrong side of the sign?

If it is, then all I have to say is shame on Brazil.

Lena Pierce,