Library Service Reduction

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Further to my earlier posts (here and here) about the closure of the 2nd-floor central library’s entrance to the Galleria Mall.

Curious about what discussion may have taken place prior to the closure, and what our political representatives on the Library Board may have had to say, I spent considerable time finding and then examining the minutes of Library Board meetings. Surprisingly, there’s no mention about it at all. How could that be?

Another email inquiry from me, and another response from the library. This one from Anne Becker, Library CEO:

As per our Strategic Plan, it is the accountability and responsibility of the CEO and Senior Team to manage the library system as efficiently and effectively as possible, within the operating and capital budget for each year. Accordingly, the decision to close the 2nd floor entrance was completed within this scope. It is an operational decision, not a governance decision. It was done for fiscal reasons and also for security reasons. Our Central Branch is in a large urban setting and we have security issues. To provide maximum security to both our staff and the individuals who use our branch, it was determined that a single entrance into the main branch is a very responsible solution. We have appropriate security in place at the 1st floor entrance to monitor this entrance / exit. We recognize that it may cause some minor inconvenience to some individuals and we do regret that inconvenience, however the 1st floor entrance is very accessible from both the street and the mall. Our previous stats clearly show that the 1st floor entrance has consistently been the entrance that the majority of patrons have always used for the Central Library.”

My translation:

After spending many millions of taxpayer dollars for the construction of the new central library (a decision that was defended at least in part on the contention that it would support the failing Galleria Mall) City Council is now underfunding the library’s operating budget. Those few retail establishments which still inhabit the Galleria Mall will experience reduced traffic and reduced sales.

And yes, how convenient was it for the Councillors on the Library Board that they didn’t have to take a position on this decision?

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2 Responses to “Library Service Reduction”

  1. Neil Blazevic Says:

    I found the 2nd entrance to be convenient too and I was confused when they closed it, but I don’t see this as any particular downgrading of the Library’s service level. The main entrance is just an escalator-ride away from this entrance, and there is an elevator nearby for those who need it.

  2. Butch McLarty Says:

    Notwithstanding the stated position of the LPL’s CEO, I think that this decision should have been channeled and vetted through the Library Board.

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