Dear library advocates,
The PPL Board of Trustees is meeting tomorrow (Thursday) at 12 noon in the Central Library's Barnard Room, 3rd floor.
By contract, PPL has only until December 31 to approve a plan for a "sustainable system," to be put into effect by July 1 of next year. It appears that the plan most likely to be approved by the full board would be keeping Central open, as well as four branches. The other five branches would be closed. The four branches to be maintained would be Rochambeau, Mount Pleasant, Knight Memorial and South Providence. The closed branches would be Smith Hill, Olneyville, Fox Point, Wanskuck and Washington Park--should it ever reopen in the first place.
While some on the Sustainability Committee are recommending that PPL donate the threatened buildings--with their books and computers--to community groups to operate as community centers, it is unclear where the funding for such a proposal would come from. If the City helped with the funding, then the City Council would probably want to cut its funding for the four "real" library branches proportionately, since the City has no extra money in these troubled financial times for EXTRA library funding.
We believe that it is possible to run all nine branches--with more aggressive fund-raising and more efficient adminstration--and we are opposed to PPL's Central Plus Four plan. Many of the City's neighborhoods that most need support will be hurt by the closing of their branch libraries. In this economic climate ESPECIALLY, Providence Public Library should have come up with a more creative solution to its own economic problems.
If PPL persists in adopting Central Plus Four, we will call upon the City to reject this proposal.
Please attend tomorrow's Board meeting, if you can, and stand up for ALL of the City's branch libraries.
These branches are vital to the neighborhoods. I cannot understand why the mayor has done so little to support them. The Providence Public Library functions with less and less transparency...