Letters to the Editor: January 9 – 15, 2013

 Library Study Represents Effort to Retain Status Quo


Nick Benton did a great job of summarizing a complex discussion (and I love his opening sentence!) about the proposed library renovation and expansion.

If I may add a couple additional important facts to the discussion:

1. Although many in this country believe public libraries will be disappearing (or downsizing radically) in the future as they revert to online hubs, our study tells us this won’t be what occurs in Falls Church, or in other places like it.

2. Rather than being able to remain in our existing building with room to spare, we’ll need to add space to it.

We outgrew our existing building at least five years ago, at the start of the large recession, so we’re only now beginning to call attention to our issue. The issue remains, and in fact grows worse.

And, finally, in case you’re curious – we didn’t task the study’s authors with examining a possible relocation to another property because it’s impossible to analyze a hypothetical. They’ve told us the activity levels and space requirements we’ll see in 20 years’ time, so this valuable information will apply should we ever relocate.

It has always been in the City’s best interest for us to make our property work as well for us as possible. If the library ever leaves the property it will transfer from public ownership back to the Styles family. We will pursue this option only if requested by City Council – a decision we’re sure would be taken only after a robust, spirited public debate over whether our property should leave City ownership.

Meanwhile, the study represents our best effort to retain the status quo and make the best use of what we’ve got. I invite the public to visit our website and download the study (it makes for an interesting read!) to see whether you believe we’ve been successful. We believe we have, considering all the constraints upon us.

Bradley E. Gernand

Via the Internet


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