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.

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