To the editor:
Proposals for the public library range from improving the existing building, to adding satellite branches, to constructing new buildings to house the library and post office at a cost of $30 million.
Lawrence should enlarge the existing library. A second story could accommodate more meeting space, a revenue-generating cafe, and a rooftop patio and garden.
I don't feel the library is inadequate. My family uses the library several times a week. It is never uncomfortably crowded, parking is easy and the services and collection are excellent. The location, close to the post office and shops, is perfect.
Comparisons of Lawrence's public library with cities of similar size must acknowledge that it is augmented by the libraries at KU, available to any Kansas resident.
A library or post office at the Riverfront Plaza would be more difficult to access via the curvy portion of Sixth Street - even more so with the resulting increase in traffic.
The cost of new buildings would far exceed the tab for construction: Taxpayers also would be stuck with the recurring costs of staffing, managing and maintaining the new buildings.
We need creative solutions that recognize these are lean times for taxpayer dollars. A solution that saves $20 million and works for 10 years might just be the right one.
Developers can be counted on to propose solutions that are highly profitable to them. But who should decide for our city - developers who stand to profit, or the taxpayers who will foot the bill?