the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood Library help is much heralded Public Forum on Saturday . Dispite all the hoopla the event attendance was a bit thin.
While some attendees including Anne LaGrange Loving complimented Nancy Greene for making an honest effort to listen to the concerns of the citizens.
The big news seems that the library consultant confirmed that library will not be closing for the period of construction and will continue with somewhat reduced services and maybe partial closure.
Dani said on Facebook :
“1. The consultant said “we the professionals in the field know what you need, and that’s why we don’t care about the 300 pages of public feedback”.
2. Nancy said we plan to raise 2M, but even if we couldn’t the difference between a 2M bond and a 4M bond for residents is not huge”.
So my personal concerns are still same as what they were before the meeting.
1. Taxpayers should only pay for needs and not wants. “Wants” should be paid for by private donations.
2. If they do have 2M$ commitments for private donations (i.e. Taxpayers contributing 75% and 25% in private donations) then sure do whatever you want, but if taxpayers have to give more than 75% and the private donations are less than 25% then the project should be scaled back to more needs and less wants. “
Steve Kim made a very valid and interesting point on Facebook :
“There was one gentleman who said he is a library board member of Franklin Lakes. He made insightful points during the Q&A session.
* Franklin Lakes spent a lot building a teen center. What they recognized after the fact is that teens have a lot going on and there is natural competition for their time. He said the center has not been well used.
If we are gong to build a teen center, we should ask the teens how the Library can serve them. I don’t see any sign of this having been done.
* Franklin Lakes also built private rooms intended for students and found that consultants were running businesses out of them.
> We should not recreate a subsidized wework type co-working space. That sort of thing should be run by the private sector (Serendipity Labs Ridgewood).
Needs should be identified, then space should be allocated/built with set usage restrictions. “
Steve Kim a frequent critic of the process as well of the scale of the library reconstruction went on on a different tread on Facebook, “My personal take is Nancy is making compromises because she has to, not because she respects the voices of the residents. “
And for us we are still waiting to hear about “BOOKS” .While modern libraries have gone well beyond their primary original charter and become more of a community center the unique feature of a public library has been access to books for the masses .