Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost opportunity

American Libraries Online, Feb. 18: Stimulus package will fund libraries. The $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (PDF file) signed by President Obama February 17 includes several economic-stimulus provisions that could directly benefit libraries.

Last November, Karen Haley Field, then president of the Lancaster Public Library (Duke Street), urged that the remodeling and expansion of the library be broken down into two phases: Remodeling funded by major state and private grants already on hand and other donations would move forward immediately; Expansion would follow within a year or two, likely spurred by anticipated federal funding for "shovel ready" projects.

They panicked and turned her down along with a million dollars in grants and despite over $400,000 in plans.

The worn and over crowded Duke Street Library, square foot wise one of the busiest in the country, remains a monument to board members' ignorance and folly.