SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Open Letter: Public Library Issues
By Robert Warner


October 25, 2008
Saturday PM

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 projects!

Thank you for considering these questions and suggestions.


Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK

Received October 23, 2008 - Published October 25, 2008


Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for publication.

SitNews ©2008
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska