Here we go yet again. It appears that our community branch libraries are the next service on the chopping block.
As a former East Providence Public Library Trustee, I know how valuable the community library model is to our city and its residents.
Libraries are more than a place to check books in and out, they are a community
hub with programs for children age five up to senior citizen aged adults. Libraries are also a hub of information, whether it is a job seeker that needs access to the web, a local worker looking to find a 1040 at tax time or a student doing research for school.
In our city we have a substantial population without the means to travel to the Weaver main library or Riverside branch and these closings would serve to disenfranchise them from library services. Perhaps cost reductions could be achieved based on changing the staffing structure, utilizing library aides and pages more and only having a librarian at each branch one day a week to check on the operation or to run special programs.
Overall, this cut is yet another attempt to nickel and dime some savings out of vital city services, which is the wrong-headed direction the budget commission has decided to take when they really need to focus on backend services and structure first, before eliminating valuable and inexpensive community programs. There may not be the same vocal outrage to these cuts at there are with sports, but this cut will rip out the hearts of their respective communities just the same. I encourage anyone that cares about these programs to contact Mayor Rogers, who also serves on the budget commission and make their feelings known.