Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rally for the Libraries of Providence, 7/24/08

The following is from Patricia Raub of the Library Reform Group (link is on the list at the bottom of this blog). RI prides itself on tourism and so any call or email or letter to any of the decision makers is valuable.

Jul 21 (23 hours ago)
Dear library advocates,

The Library Reform Group, (LRG), has spent the weekend reviewing the terms of the Agreement for Library Services recently negotiated by the Mayor’s Office and PPL and ratified by the PPL Board of Trustees last Thursday. We are relieved that the 2008 proposed Agreement provides for maintaining the existing level of library services and the current number of branches through June of 2009, providing most library staff with job security for another year and suggesting that library patrons will not experience any reduction in services or branch closures for eleven more months. However, LRG is deeply concerned about what could occur after June 30, 2009.

The provisions of the 2008 Agreement cover a four-year period from 2008 through 2012. However, after one year, PPL can make the transition into a library system which operates with drastically fewer branches and a lower level of service and programs. BECAUSE THE 2008 PPL AGREEMENT OBLIGATES THE CITY TO CONTINUE TO PAY $3.5 MILLION annually over the term of the Agreement, the City and Patrons of the Library will have no recourse but to accept less in library services and branch locations for the same amount of City funding.


Currently, the 2008 Agreement does not provide for the City to terminate or to re-negotiate the Agreement, should PPL decide to drastically reduce branches, staff and/or library services.

CALL THE MAYOR at (401) 421-7740 and demand that he add an escape clause to the Agreement for Library Services BEFORE the City Council votes on this agreement next week.

Demand, as well, that he and PPL commit to re-opening the Washington Park Branch Library in its original location NOW. The City has spent taxpayer dollars to repair and renovate the structure and the Library has failed to resume operations in the Washington Park building.

We invite you to attend our press conference at 5:00 p.m. this Thursday, July 24, at the former Washington Park branch library (1316 Broad Street) to call upon the Mayor and PPL to FIX THIS FLAWED AGREEMENT.

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