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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Board of Aldermen Aim to Restore, Preserve Libraries

West Branch Library
East Branch Library

In the wake of the arbitration award for Somerville Firefighters that almost resulted in Mayor Joe Curtatone closing the West Branch Library, members of the Board of Aldermen are submitting resolutions for Thursday’s meeting focused on restoring both the East and West Branch locations and preserving all libraries across the city.

News that the West Branch Library would possibly close came as a major surprise considering the large amount of money, $15K total, the location received in 2011 to improve the Children's Room.

Even though the firefighters union and the city have come to a financial agreement that spans pay increases over 8 years, the Mayor hinted that closing libraries were not completely off the table come budget time at a January 19th Finance Committee meeting. He also hinted at layoffs being presented to the Board of Alderman  when FY 2013 Budget discussions commence in June.

Not taking any chances, members of the Board have submitted the following agenda item (numbers 14 through 16) to keep the administration focused on physical improvements to the city's libraries and conducting research on how to keep them running financially strong in the future.

14. Resolution: By Ald. Gewirtz, Connolly, Lafuente, Heuston, Roche, Desmond, White Jr., Sullivan
That this Board requests that the Administration provide a timeline for repairs to the West Branch Library and that the Commissioner of Public Works provide an update on repairs to interior walls that are peeling.

15. Resolution: By Ald. Roche, Connolly, Desmond, Sullivan, White Jr., Gewirtz, O’Donovan, Heuston, Lafuente
That this Board requests that the Administration analyze improvements needed at the East Branch Library and provide this Board with a schedule for completion.

16. Resolution By Ald. Connolly, Desmond, Sullivan, White Jr., Gewirtz, Roche, O’Donovan, Heuston, Lafuente
That this Board requests that the Administration conduct a thorough review of the Public Library, including long-range planning to maintain the highest level of community services, and report back to this Board prior to the FY13 budget review.

These resolutions are on the agenda for Thursday's Board of Aldermen meeting held in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall at 7pm. This meeting is open to the public and is broadcast online and on the city's communications channel (Comcast: 16 and RCN: 13).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see the attention given to maintaining the city's libraries.

When I was a student at Western Junior High School,1943-1946, now the TAB building, there was a library in place there; with a full time librarian, Miss Gorman; and scheduled library classes required of all students.
That's where we learned the Dewey Decimal System.