SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Audit/Investigation Needed at Public Library
By Robert D. Warner


January 08, 2010

Dear Sitnews Editor:

Recent letters to SITNEWS describe waste and careless spending of $1.4 million dollars for planning and blueprints by the public library. One letter called this spending "obscene." Isn't it time for the Mayor and City Council to launch a complete investigation as to why and how this money was squandered? Today, we do not even have funding to provide essential safety and security in our local high school.

Has the taxpaying public ever had the opportunity to vote and approve this type of lavish spending? There are several important questions that need to be addressed in a formal audit and investigation of public library spending:

(1) Who authorized that funds be spent on blueprints for the Main School site even after library and city officials were informed that this site was not adequate for public library use?

(2) Why did public library management fail to inform citizens and city officials that this site was not adequate for library use? While librarians are not professional architects, they are trained and paid to know essential elements of site selection.

(3) Why hasn't city and library management been held accountable for their $1.4 million blunder?

(4) Why has the public library been allowed to post inadequate, false, and misleading propaganda on its web page promoting construction of a new library? Such information confuses and distorts.

(5) Finally, why doesn't the Ketchikan library use more volunteers to decrease paid staffing? Funds could then be shifted from the library to provide essential staff services such as the security officer in our high school. Many Alaska public libraries in use volunteers to provide services. In 2005, for example, Sitka used 43 volunteers for 1,268 hours, Homer 263 volunteers for 2,247 hours, Kenai 13 volunteers for 2,102 hours while Ketchikan Public Library used 9 volunteers for 86 hours of work.

Clearly, the time has come for a serious investigation and audit of Ketchikan Public Library management and spending.


Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK

Received January 07, 2009 - Published January 08, 2010


Related Viewpoint:

letterOfficer in Our Schools" by Charles Edwardson

letter Open Letter to the Elected City Officials and Manager by Rodney Dial

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