Community Schools

Boston Public Library Hearing – Live Tweeting

Plenty of folks are tweeted from the Tuesday afternoon Boston Public Library Trustee meeting regarding the budget and the possible closure of branches. As far as I can tell, there was no vote or any specific branch announcements. Scroll through the tweets for the latest.

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin sums up the hearing:
Even without funding cuts, the Boston Public Library might still cut branches, chairman says

The South End News also covers the event.

One Reply to “Boston Public Library Hearing – Live Tweeting

  1. This is an email I sent to Sal LaMattina and to our at-large councilors. Please send your own emails to support our library:

    I’m very concerned about the citywide library budget crisis. I wanted to share some thoughts with you about our North End branch in particular.

    In addition to its remarkable support by an active Friends organization, the branch has recently been upgraded with exterior landscaping that makes its a wonderful outdoor space for residents and visitors to stop, rest and enjoy a book or just watch the neighborhood activity. That project was costly and should not be wasted.

    Because the library has a terrific Italian collection, it is a boon to local Italian-speaking residents. It helps reinforce the North End’s Italian roots and tends to keep our Italian residents in the neighborhood, where they keep their culture alive for the benefit of us all.

    More importantly, those Italian residents are aging. I would hazard a guess that we have more non-car owning residents in the North End per capita than any other neighborhood in the city, many of them older, possibly physically challenged long-time residents, but also a growing number of young, early-career residents who make use of modern urban alternatives like Zipcar or bicycles. But all of this puts a premium on city services that are available within a convenient walking distance. The nearest alternative branch that would be available to North Enders would be the West End or Charlestown branches, assuming either survives the cuts. Our elderly and infirm residents, not to mention the foot-bound younger residents, would be left without a reasonable alternative.

    On a different note, we have a growing student population who need and can make great use of the library resources. This resource should be available to them, supporting the established view of Boston as an intellectual, academically intense city.

    The library is also a place where young families find resources that make them want to stay in the city, even as their families grow. With resources such as children’s reading and activities, homework help, tutoring, ESL and other language assistance, not to mention simple fun activities, the North End branch helps stem the outflow of families to the suburbs as they grow and begin to feel the city can’t provide the full range of developmental activities. I fear that some young families would read the North End branch closure as one more signal that they would have to move away from Boston to find services that keep their children engaged and developing.

    Of course, we have only one branch in this densely populated neighborhood. Other neighborhoods have multiple branches, and I feel the burden of a closure would be more lightly felt in those multi-branch neighborhoods.

    Thanks again for the terrific work you do for the city and the North End. I know you have multiple neighborhoods that are vying for your influence on behalf of their libraries, and that you must feel torn by the various loyalties, but I truly feel that the library branch in the North End is an unusually powerful unifying force in our neighborhood. I hope your leadership can ensure it is preserved in these difficult times.

    Best Wishes,

    Bill Lane

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