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Library ‘yes’

Your statements in your opening paragraph are not necessarily correct. Many communities are creating "branch libraries" that serve the purpose of promoting book lending using cost-effective new technologies, including book lockers. See this Wall Street Journal article for examples:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

Innovative solutions like those discussed in this article can leverage a single inventory of books as well as existing library staff, and then distribute the books to the lockers as orders are placed.

I guess it depends on what our objectives are. Is this proposed expansion truly about making books more available to folks? If so - why aren't we considering much less expensive alternatives? Do we REALLY need more meeting space? Where are the statistics to back this up? Why aren't we considering alternative meeting space proposals like those other commentators have made? I do understand the desire to have more computers. However, not at the price tag this proposal includes. Let's get creative and consider ideas that leverage existing space and existing resources. We can't keep spending money like it grows on trees.

October 27, 2010 at 11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Library ‘yes’

There are better, cheaper alternatives. This proposition is fiscally irresponsible and I will not support it.

October 27, 2010 at 10:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Town Talk: ‘Vote no on library’ signs appear; downtown mural questioned; home sales down for September

@Thinking_Out_Load - From the article:

"It's real, and the book lockers are great," said Audra Caplan, president of the Public Library Association. "Many of us are having to reduce hours as government budgets get cut, and this enables people to get to us after hours."

The library's main branch is five miles from her house, but Ms. Baker, who is a personal care attendant for an autistic child, says it's hard to get there during business hours when the library is open. "It's difficult for me to get up there," she said of the library's main branch. "This makes it much easier to get library material."

I'm having a tough time understanding how you think the article describes this alternative idea as "not equally effective". It's clear from the article there are people who think alternative satellite libraries are not only effective, but that they offer benefits over and above that which is available by a single, centralized location.

The only negative perspective represented in the article was from a director of a library who was concerned about the elimination of librarians from the library, as if this would somehow diminish the role libraries play in the creation of a "literate, educated populace". If it's truly the "educational programs" run by libraries that create the "literate, educated populace", then run the educational programs out of the existing library and use satellite library lockers to facilitate book lending.

Just because an idea was once promoted by Ben Franklin doesn't mean the idea is still a good one. Innovation...it's a good thing! And just to be clear, opposing funding of a bad idea is most certainly American.

October 26, 2010 at 9:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Town Talk: ‘Vote no on library’ signs appear; downtown mural questioned; home sales down for September

I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about how other communities are handling library expansions given these tough economic times:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

I think we should be considering alternative ideas, such as those discussed in this article. I will not support a tax increase to pay for a library expansion when other less costly (and equally effective) alternatives are available. It isn't about being against literacy or kids... it's about making the most of limited resources (tax dollars).

October 25, 2010 at 5:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

De Soto boy found in attic recovering at hospital

I had read in another newspaper that the Dad had been deported to Mexico a year ago.

August 21, 2010 at 11:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence doesn't have enough volunteers to help those who need their sidewalk shoveled

My husband called earlier this week to volunteer to shovel. He had to leave a message because the person in charge of the volunteer program was unavailable. He has not yet received a return call. I wonder if this is because 1) they have enough volunteers now, 2) the snow is melting, or 3) the person in charge of the program doesn't return calls?

January 14, 2010 at 4:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Community shelter leaders moving forward with shelter plan despite setback at planning commission

I'm reposting a comment I made on the "Plan stalls to move homeless shelter" article.

I would like to see Lawrence address the homelessness challenge by providing two distinct shelter solutions: one plan designed to meet the needs of those who are not substance abusers, and one for people with substance abuse problems. The needs of these two groups are so different... I can't imagine how a single shelter could provide appropriate services to both groups at the same time. For the former group, I’m a big fan of providing a diverse range of options, and I think our local churches have done a nice job with the Family Promise program, from what I’ve read. For the latter group, it’s more complicated.

I have a family member attending a substance abuse program in Phoenix - it’s the best I’ve ever seen. It is a long-term facility (participants often stay a year or more), and the participants pay for the program themselves through jobs secured with help from the program. Of course it includes housing, assistance with transportation for those without a license, and assistance with all the other barriers that stand in the way of person who would like to improve their lives, but who have gotten themselves into such trouble that it's virtually impossible to do so without help. I think a program modeled this way is self-sustaining and works to solve the underlying problems that lead to homelessness for people who suffer from addiction. It isn’t a “shelter” per se - but it does provide “shelter” in conjunction with other critical services that a person needs in order to address the problems that lead to homelessness in the first place. I realize we will still have those people who do not want help…they just want a dry place to sleep where they can continue using. I don’t have an easy answer to this. I think those in 12 step programs will tell you that if you make it easy for people to drink/use by providing a clean, safe place to do so…then they’ll continue to use. So perhaps the only option is to turn them away and hope they hit bottom eventually. Some do, some don’t, some will, some won’t. It’s a sad fact of life.

November 17, 2009 at 10:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Plan stalls to move homeless shelter

I would like to see Lawrence address the homelessness challenge by providing two distinct shelter solutions: one plan designed to meet the needs of those who are not substance abusers, and one for people with substance abuse problems. The needs of these two groups are so different... I can't imagine how a single shelter could provide appropriate services to both groups at the same time. For the former group, I’m a big fan of providing a diverse range of options, and I think our local churches have done a nice job with the Family Promise program, from what I’ve read. For the latter group, it’s more complicated.

I have a family member attending a substance abuse program in Phoenix - it’s the best I’ve ever seen. It is a long-term facility (participants often stay a year or more), and the participants pay for the program themselves through jobs secured with help from the program. Of course it includes housing, assistance with transportation for those without a license, and assistance with all the other barriers that stand in the way of person who would like to improve their lives, but who have gotten themselves into such trouble that it's virtually impossible to do so without help. I think a program modeled this way is self-sustaining and works to solve the underlying problems that lead to homelessness for people who suffer from addiction. It isn’t a “shelter” per se - but it does provide “shelter” in conjunction with other critical services that a person needs in order to address the problems that lead to homelessness in the first place. I realize we will still have those people who do not want help…they just want a dry place to sleep where they can continue using. I don’t have an easy answer to this. I think those in 12 step programs will tell you that if you make it easy for people to drink/use by providing a clean, safe place to do so…then they’ll continue to use. So perhaps the only option is to turn them away and hope they hit bottom eventually. Some do, some don’t, some will, some won’t. It’s a sad fact of life.

November 17, 2009 at 10:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )