opinion: Presentation sways resident to support the library bond proposal
I have just attended a meeting where a presentation of “Why We Need a New Library” was given regarding the $65 million library bond proposal. Prior to this presentation I had planned to vote 'No.'
After hearing the following persuasive facts on the main questions, I am now voting yes on this proposal as I believe it is a sound investment in the future of our community.
- In addition to needing more space, the space needs to be arranged differently from our present-day configuration (which is the result of two additions to the original building) to accommodate the current needs for meeting, program, and technology spaces.
- Visually, the need for renovation or rebuilding is not apparent, however, when all the needed upgrades, and renovations are taken as a whole, rather than piecemeal, it is cost effective to rebuild instead of renovate. The board has extensive data to support this.
- Why now? Building cost will escalate as we have economic recovery and interest rates are at record lows.
- The building does not conform to the American Disabilities Act.
- More in depth information is available in a white paper at the library, or online here, to supplement this brief overview.
Many have said, this is another example of the Ann Arbor elitist putting forth a proposal that is not needed. When you consider the downtown library has 600,000 visitors each year, 1,000,000 annual checkouts, 21 percent increase in the past year, for meeting rooms and use of the facility, the woefully inadequate space for youth, the explosion in technology needs regarding computer usage, it becomes apparent the request for a new library is not a pie in the sky request. We need it.