Open Letter: Public Library
By Robert Warner
October 25, 2008
Dear Members of the Borough Assembly:
Recently I learned that the Assembly is planning a work session
to discuss issues related to building a new public library.
There has been much public criticism about the selection of the
old Main School site for this library. The site is isolated
and difficult to reach, especially during long winter months
with rain, ice and snow. Perhaps you would consider discussing
some of the following questions at your meeting?
Why is the library being moved in the first place? Who made
this decision? Wouldn't there be significant cost savings if
the museum moved rather than the library? This is based on the
consideration that the current Centennial Building could be remodeled
for the library at modest cost, but would need a complete tear-down
for a museum. I have been trying to get answers to these questions
for over two years with no success.
Why haven't more accessible sites been considered when or if
a library move is needed? The top floor of the Plaza Mall has
been suggested along with the empty location across the street
from the Post Office. Shopping mall libraries have become quite
popular in recent years. Should there be branch libraries out
in the Borough rather than a single site downtown?
We should also ask why we need such a large facility to house
more books when advances in computer technology reduce the need
for traditional books and printed references in many areas of
research and study?
Perhaps the most basic question is who is going to pay for this
new library? Are Borough residents, as well as City residents,
obligated to cover construction costs? Is it wise to continue
this plan during these rough economic times?
Should we channel tax revenues into essential public services
during tough times and place a freeze on special interest projects
such as this one? Certainly about the last obligation citizens
need right now is a tax increase for non essential services and
Thank you for considering these questions and suggestions.
Robert D. Warner
Received October 23, 2008 -
Published October 25, 2008
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