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
Received January 07, 2009 - Published January 08, 2010
in Our Schools" by Charles Edwardson
Letter to the Elected City Officials and Manager by Rodney
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