opinion: Price of new library too high for people still struggling with budgets and employment
Although the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library as an organization financially supports the new library campaign, there are some among the Friends who share my view that, as proposed, this library project does not well serve the community. Reasons for rejecting the proposal compelled me to form a ballot opposition group: “LOL=Love Our Library Vote NO”
Three compelling reasons to consider:
1. Closing the downtown library for 2 to 3 years deprives residents of libraryâ€¨ functions on which they depend. While the library intends to operate from a downtown storefront, services will be limited and browsing the physical collection impossible. One might also ask what staff that has been assured their jobs will do during the closure.
2. As a child of depression-era parents, I was taught to make the best use of everything we had. Destroying a useful structure just to replace it runs counter to what I believe which is that the library should plan a structured renovation of the existing building that does not require a lengthy closing period.
3. The price tag of more than $65,000,000 is too high during this period when people are struggling with employment and with their budgets. Many citizens live on a fixed income. Only a 1.7 percent increase is scheduled for those whose primary income is Social Security. For them and others this plan is too expensive.
A “NO” vote should not be viewed as a vote against the library. Many voting against the proposal will be those who love the library, its collections, its staff and its programs.