.

Heart of East Providence Libraries at Guillotine

Our appointed budget commission has set their sights on our libraries!

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.

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tony Silva March 07, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Although this is a sad outcome for the city, we are lucky to have 2 other great libraries. Most cities have 1 and we are fortunate to have 4. The 2 that will remain are great and are also only a few miles from the closing libraries. These are difficult times and the city is going to have to make tough choices. I think that going from 4 to 2 terrific libraries is reasonable.
Frier March 07, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I dont agree with you Tony. I'm not sure its true that most cities have 1. Libraries are valuable community resources, make a neighborhood more appealing and valuable at minimal cost. How much can Rumford library, running 3 days a week and minimally staffed as it is - cost? Look at the cost of the big-ticket projects getting tossed around at the city council mtg as described in the other patch article today - compared to that a community library, is a low-cost, value-added proposition for city communities.
Kevin Oliver March 07, 2012 at 07:26 PM
There is no need for 4 libraries in this city. I have been at. Weaver Library several afternoons when there were a dozen or so kids acting unruly. Kids use the library as a hangout these days. If they have research papers to write they use the computer to do them and not encyclopedia's. The fact that they are closing 2 small libraries that in your words were only open 3 days and minimally staffed should not be to much of an inconvienence. To anyone. This city is in rough shape financially and every penny they save is a penny less we are in the red.
Govstench March 08, 2012 at 01:09 PM
This just underscores what I have been saying all along. No matter what the budget commission comes up with to cut the spending, those affected will cry foul and want someone else to take the hit. When you are facing deficits, all items are on the table. First we had people crying foul over cutting sports in middle school. Now it's the libraries. People have to understand that we must not look to government to solve our problems - government is the problem.
JJD March 08, 2012 at 10:14 PM
We don't want our programs cut while there are other options, and there are other options, including restructuring our city government in a way that makes sense. Also, for whatever reason, the Commission will not exercise its power to re-open collective bargaining contracts, take away some of the needless perks from the employees before you cut services for residents. I am not anti-union in the least, but we need to address that first. And no, I cannot agree that 'government is the problem' government in our nation is by the citizens, we pool together to provide services and govern ourselves in a way that we cannot as individuals.
JJD March 08, 2012 at 11:01 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-East-Providence-Library-Community-Branches/337416389628633 Please sign the petition to save our libraries! http://www.change.org/petitions/save-east-providence-community-branch-libraries
david sullivan March 12, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Save the taxpayer first...how can we as a people care more about additional libraries as a convenience when people are unemployed,underinsured and in or near foreclosure...the taxpayer is TAPPED!
Bruce Zarembka March 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM
"I cannot agree that 'government is the problem' government in our nation is by the citizens, we pool together to provide services and govern ourselves in a way that we cannot as individuals." From JJD Unfortunately our government offcials stopped serving the people it was elected to represent a long time ago. At the same time a lot of this can be blamed on the lack of caring, disenchantment, willingness to educate themselves on the issues and agenda's of those elected to public office, or a just don't give a damn attitude by the general populace. If one doesn't take the time to get involved, stand up for their beliefs, (or at the very least educate themselves about the issues) we as a people have no one to blame but ourselves.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something