I’ve lived in a few states other than Washington. I’m over 50 years of age and been an avid book reader since childhood. I’ve lived in Walla Walla, but now I’ve been in the county for 15 years.
My thought on the library issue is that if you figured the cost per person available in the city versus the cost per person spent in the county, you might see a huge difference. So, if combined, it might greatly reduce the city library’s budget on a per person basis.
We county residents and small-town people greatly rely on our rural library system for books and periodicals and the computer system to stay connected with our world.
If combined (city and rural) I could see the need to hire a person and provide a vehicle to run to the various other libraries daily to take books and items requested. The videos and books on CD people borrow for home or community is very necessary in rural areas. In cities it’s easy to return a video next day; rurally not.
I think the cost associated with combining city and rural would probably hugely compromise the funds spent on the city library.
We rural patrons need our access and the many people living near Walla Walla outside the city limits need proper access. The cost of extending city limits would be prohibitive in services such as water, sewer, street lighting, police, fire, etc.
To my way of thinking, each entity services its own and that way everyone is taken care of in a timely manner. I have children in Walla Walla who pay large taxes for city services and I think it would be a burden to add thousands more people to the city library service area.