SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Open Letter To Ketchikan City Council: Ketchikan Public Library Concerns
By Robert D. Warner


May 04, 2010
Tuesday AM

Dear Members of Ketchikan City Council: The following are basic questions that I feel need to be answered prior to any decisions being made on the future location of the Ketchikan Public Library. This is an important long term decision. The community will have to live with it for many years to come. We must not be pressured into hasty decisions by special interest groups.

To date this process has been flawed by serveral serious and expensive mistakes. Many folks are concerned about a series of semi secret meetings, poor site selections, money wasted on plans and blueprints, and the generally poor leadership of the current library administration.

1. Who decided that the library must move from the Centennial Building rather than the museum? Why hasn't there been a public vote of Borough and City Residents to make this determination?

2. Considering that the current Centennial Building is well suited for a library after modest rennovations while museum usage would likely require a complete tear down of the building, isn't it more costly to move the library? What are the cost estimates of moving the library vs moving the museum?

3. Have you considered that most citizen comments to date have been very supportive of the library's current location and very critical of the sites recommended for the move?

4. Can the community afford increased operational costs of a new library facility? What are the cost and staffing estimates for operating the new facility?

5. Have you considered the future role and space needs of the library? Many folks feel that computers are quickly making the small and medium sized public library somewhat obsolete. We no longer have to go to the library and page through a stack of encyclopedias and reference books to find the information we need. Public libraries no longer have to find space to store little used and dated materials. We can find the information on the world wide web from our homes or school classrooms. Young people in school are much more skilled at this than our generations!

6. Does the impact of these changes offers potential that our Ketchikan Public Library will actually require less space and a smaller staff to effectively serve the community?

Thank you for seeking answers to my questions before any decision is made on this important issue.


Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK


Received April 30, 2010 - Published May 04, 2010


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