Library, Anchor of Democracy

Kevin Dowd, the outgoing library board president, has an As I See It piece in today’s Telegram [$].  You can read it on the library website as well.  Readers will really appreciate the end:

New challenges are on the horizon. As the city looks at promoting development of the district between The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts and the library, we must be careful not to injure this vital organ of civic life. The library board made the newspaper when we voted unanimously against the idea of a hockey rink taking over the library parking lot (the McGrath municipal lot). Parking is no small issue: losing or limiting our parking (or moving it two blocks away) might cause access problems that spell the library’s demise. We are asking for a more public process, and we offer the library as the site of a public hearing, a charette, so that — in the words of a wise ancient Roman legal precept — “what concerns all should be decided by all.”

The library is truly a gem in the city’s center. It brings more people into the district than any other institution. It continues to grow and adapt so that the trajectory is toward greater demand over the next few years. In any discussion about development, then, the library, including the issue of parking and easy access, must be in the foreground of the planning.

In other news…

The library also has some surveys up about changes to the children’s room and book clubs for adult readers.  Please fill out one or both!

For those who’d like to read them, I’ve put the following on Google Docs: the head librarian’s report for October and November, and a mockup of part of the automated materials handling plans.

CWW: Tickets for Tanglewood Marionettes available on Monday at the library

The Worcester Public Library is going to host two showings of Tanglewood Marionettes’ production of Cinderella on December 26.

Tickets for the two shows (at 3pm, and 6pm)  are required and available FREE at the Children’s Room Desk, starting Monday (December 17th) until they are gone.

I cannot recommend these shows enough. If there is a child in your life between the ages of 4 and 10, hie thee to the main branch and pick up tickets, because they go fast!

The program is sponsored by the Friends of WPL.  Among other things, the Friends provide museum passes to the public.  If you attend the marionette show, or if you use the museum passes, consider joining the Friends so that they can continue to offer these kinds of programs in the future.

New dog ordinance passed

In what will hopefully be an end to the saga of the pit bull ordinance, last night the City Council passed a dog/cat/ferret ordinance that will bring Worcester in compliance with a new state law.  That means no breed-specific legislation, and targeting problem dog owners rather than dogs that have done nothing wrong .

Councilor Eddy, the original proponent of the pit bull ordinance, decided to walk out of the room rather than vote either on his conscience (which would be a No) or to bring the city ordinances in line with state law (which would be a Yes).

While some might look at that as a cowardly act, I prefer to look at it as an homage to his former colleague Joff Smith.

Congratulations to the dog owners who made this happen!