SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Do We Really Need a New Public Library?
By Robert D. Warner


April 16, 2007

Dear SitNews Editor:

In a recent SitNews letter, Mr. Fruehan asks if I am saying that the Ketchikan Public Library has enough books? No I am not. One of the most important services of a public library is to offer citizens a wide variety of new titles as well as old classics.

Sometimes, however, a library must remove books from the collection because they are dated and have been replaced by new titles. Other titles are removed because they are little used, worn out, or are missing and cannot be easily replaced. Hopefully the collection will grow as obsolete titles are removed and new titles are added.

The need for more shelving space was a major factor in the 1980's study of the Centennial Building. It was recommended that when the museum moved into a new facility, much of the vacated space would be used to shelve more books and improve seating for library patrons! One idea was to use some of the museum space on the top floor of the Centennial Building for a "Alaskana Reading Room."

The main purpose of my SitNews letter of 11 April was to encourage the city to rethink this plan to move the library; they should consider moving the museum as recommended in the 1980's study. For reasons that I do not know, they jumped on board with this stupid idea to move the library to "the top of the hill" near the site of the old Main School.

The City Council should consider that it would be far less expensive to remodel the Centennial Building for a library than a museum. They should also realize that the current site is ideal for a library. It has a unique view of Ketchikan Creek and it is on a bus line that is essential to many library users.

This planning, unfortunately, has become a boondoggle in my opinion. It has been bogged down by misinformation with public funds being wasted.

Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK

Received April 16, 2007 - Published April 16, 2007


Related Viewpoints:

letter "Do we really need a new public library?" By Robert Fruehan

letter Do We Really Need a New Public Library? By Robert D. Warner



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Ketchikan, Alaska