YES! The Public Library Should
By Robert D. Warner
June 10, 2010
Dear Sitnews Editor:
Three cheers to the grass roots folks responsible for the petition
drive to keep the Ketchikan Public Library in the downtown core
area. It just makes good sense that a public vote on the issue
would be the first step in deciding possible locations for the
public library. I find it most unfortunate that this critical
step was never taken or encouraged by city and library managers.
As a result, significant funds have been spent and public frustration
aroused with little accomplished. We are very fortunate that
this group moved forward to ask city residents where they would
like to locate their public library.
Recently I had the opportunity to review the "Site Selection
Criteria" which were written and used by the Seattle Public
Library in their LIBRARIES FOR ALL capital improvement projects.
This program covered both the renovation of older library buildings
and construction of new public library buildings. Criteria included
that public library sites should be in areas visited by all segments
of the primary community served. The library should make a positive
contribution to the neighborhoods served and be compatible with
existing land use plans. Library sites must be supportive of
access and use by library patrons and in compliance with the
community's comprehensive plan.
In my professional opinion, at least two city owned downtown
sites meet these important site selection criteria. The public
library can become the anchor and hub to revitalize downtown.
What is good for a store is good for a public library. Easy
access, parking, visibility, transportation route, bus stop,
etc. are always nice. Copper Ridge flunks on almost all of
them. Would we build a new store in a gravel pit?
Let's move ahead on this project by taking this important first
step of keeping our Public Library downtown!
Robert D. Warner
About: Bob Warner is a retired
community college librarian with over 30 years of library experience.
Received June 10, 2010 - Published
June 10, 2010
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