Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2020 Issue

A Loss of Airline Service Becomes a Major Loss for a City's Libraries

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When an airline stops serving a city it is a loss for its citizens, both travelers and businesses that serve them. It can also be tough on civic pride. However, one institution that generally is exempt from the loss is the local library. There isn't much of a connection between the library and an airline, except in the case of Long Beach, California, where there is.

 

JetBlue Airways has been a major carrier at Long Beach Airport for two decades. Particularly in the first decade of this century, it was very successful with its flights growing. For many, it was more convenient than crowded Los Angeles Airport to the north and JetBlue, being a budget carrier, offered lower fares. After the recession of 2008, competition among L.A. Airport carriers drove the cost of those flights down, diminishing Long Beach's advantages. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, JetBlue had greatly reduced its number of flights from Long Beach. Now, with traffic further reduced, the airline has determined it is no longer profitable to continue. JetBlue flights from Long Beach will end as of October 6, all but one route transferred to L.A.

 

What does this have to do with Long Beach's libraries? Jet airplanes are not quiet machines. If you've ever been close to one with its engines running, you will notice that the sound is deafening. There isn't a whole lot that can be done to make a jet quiet. In 1990, Congress passed a law that prohibits cities from enforcing local noise ordinances around airports, but Long Beach was able to secure an exemption. They enforce their restrictions with fines, and air carriers have reached agreements on the size of the fine, which is between $3,000 and $6,000 per violation. The biggest violator, not surprising because it was the airport's biggest carrier, is JetBlue. The city maintained that the fines were meant as a deterrent, not a source of income, but the number of fines levied over many years argues that the reality became otherwise. For JetBlue, it was a cost of doing business, but perhaps a cost that became more meaningful as profits shrank. We don't know if it played a role in JetBlue's decision to cease operations but it didn't help.

 

Since 2003, Long Beach has collected many millions of dollars in fines from JetBlue. In 2018, it collected over $1 million. In 2019, with flights decreasing, it was $532,000. When Long Beach reached the agreement with JetBlue that allowed the city to levy these substantial fines, the city promised one more thing. The money would not go into the its general fund, leading to a potential dependence on these fines by the city government. Instead, they agreed that all fines collected would go to the the Long Beach Public Library Foundation.

 

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation was created specifically to provide aid for certain needs of the city's public library system. At the top of that list has been buying books for the library. They also provide various learning programs and other services for library patrons. While what is collected from the fines may seem small compared to the libraries' annual budget of around $15 million, it is a major part of the funding for new and replacement books and the other services the foundation funds. Now, all of that is gone, and meanwhile, the city is looking to reduce its funding of the library system. Lots of travelers will miss JetBlue's presence in the city, but perhaps none more than Long Beach's public libraries.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Extensive archive of papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> George Catlin, <i>North American Indian Portfolio,</i> 1844. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> The Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures, Carefully Translated…after the Best Jewish Authorities, Philadelphia, 1853-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Printed & Manuscript Americana<br>September 29, 2022</b>
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Wedding book of Eleanor Roosevelt’s bodyguard, Earl Miller, signed by the Roosevelts, 1932. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Textile titled <i>The Resignation of Pres’t Washington,</i> Scotland, circa 1800. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Gideon Welles, Pass for President Lincoln’s White House funeral, 1865. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann September 29:</b> Confirmation of arms and nobility in favor of the Diez y Mora family, Madrid, 1710. $2,500 to $3,500.
  • <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> JOYCE, James. <i>Ulysses.</i> London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1937. PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST ENGLISH EDITION PRINTED IN ENGLAND. $50,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [SHACKLETON, Ernest]. –– BROWNING, Robert. <i>Poetical Works of…</i> London: Smith and Elder, 1906. PRESENTED TO SHACKLETON AND THE OFFICERS OF THE NIMROD BY A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> AUDUBON, John James. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York: George R. Lockwood, [1870]. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> ARISTOTLE. Opera, in Greek, parts one and two only: Organon and Natural Philosophy I. Edited by Aldus and others. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1 November 1495–February 1498. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> COOK, James, Capt. [Collected Voyages]. First and Second Voyages: London: W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1773, 1777; Third Voyage: London: H. Hughes for G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1785. $14,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne (“Mark Twain”). <i>The Writings of…</i> Hartford: American Publishing Co., 1899–1900. $12,000 to $16,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William. <i>The Poems of…</i> Edited by Frederick S. Ellis. Hammersmith: William Morris for the Kelmscott Press, 1893. $12,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> LONDON, Jack. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> New York: The Macmillan Company, 1905. PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY LONDON. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> CROWLEY, Aleister (1875–1947). <i>The Winged Beetle.</i> London: privately printed, 1910. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>October 20, 2022</b></center>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> WILDE, Oscar (“C.3.3.”). <i>The Ballad of Reading Gaol.</i> London: Leonard Smithers, January 1898. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> DRYDEN, John. <i>Fables Ancient and Modern; translated into verse from Homer, Ovid, Boccace, & Chaucer: with original poems.</i> London: John Tonson, 1700. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Oct. 20:</b> [MAP]. LINSCHOTEN, Jan Huygen van. <i>Delineatio Orarum Maritimarum…</i> London: John Wolfe, 1598. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Antiquarian Books<br>Including a series of views of Milan<br>September 27 to October 4</b></center>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Livius, Historia Romanae decades, Venice, Vindelinus de Spira, 1470, contemporary Morocco. €30,000 to €40,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Blaeu, Nieuw Stedeboeck van Italien (Piemont), The Hague, 1724-1725, 8 volumes, marbled calf gilt. €70,000 to €90,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Baysio, Rosarium decretorum, Venice, 1481, later vellum. €10,000 to €15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> [Niccolò da Poggibonsi], Viaggio da Venetia al santo Sepulchro, Venice, 1529, later half calf. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Sep. 27 – Oct. 4:</b> Hieronymus, Epistole [Italian], Ferrara, 1497, blue crushed morocco with the Rocco di Torrepadula arms. €12,000 to €15,000.

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