Writing On the Wall: ‘Rithmetic Beats Reading

February 25, 2009 at 4:30am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A final decision by the City Council is half a year away, but it looks like two City Libraries could close. The Bethany and South branches could be the victims of Lincoln Libraries’ need to chop 9% from its budget. That’s a big chunk, and presumably the alternative to closing the two branches would be substantially crippling services across all branches. In this case I prefer the Library Board’s Harvey Perlman-esque vertical cut.

Well, no. Actually I prefer Mr. T’s fanciful dream of a landmark Downtown library, supplemented by healthy community libraries scattered conveniently throughout town. Killing off the two branches is only my second choice.

I’m curious what you folks think. Will the City Council actually vote to close the two branches? If not, will it be because extra funds magically appear, or because the Council opts for an alternate plan?

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The Comments

Matthew Platte February 25, 2009 at 4:59am

The Council are politicians, thus easily swayed by nine-year-olds picketing and protesting in public.

The Trustees seem to be taking their role seriously and making rational decisions.

Will there be a PoGo card for correct predictions? wink

Dave K February 25, 2009 at 5:07am

I’m sure this will follow the normal pattern of events when these types of things happen. First, the idea is proposed.  Second, you have a small group of individuals stage a protest, with half the LJS staff there to photograph and report on it.  Then there will be a hearing, with people crying about why their library has to be closed, followed by a Cindy Lange Kubick (sp?) sap piece about how someone’s life will be ruined by the library closing.  The vote will happen, and then you’ll have the opposition’s leader calling for ‘Yea’ voters to be recalled. Etc, etc, etc ...

This shouldn’t even be much of a debate given the current economic conditions.

Fletch February 25, 2009 at 3:19pm

I thought the grand plan was for a great downtown library and 4 satelite locations in the 4 quadrants of town, including Gere (renovated not long ago), and the one down by Cooper Park and the matching one on Superior Street. That’s 3 of the 4. Not sure what’s in the northeast.

I think the tiny ones could be gone, but we should eventually, when times get better, work toward the other goal.

beerorkid February 25, 2009 at 4:57pm

I grew up in Bethany and visited that library a bunch.  They had garfield smile

I also learned a bit about my man bits.

It is a tiny little thing though (the library not my….) and Anderson is not all that far away and much bigger.

Karin Dalziel February 26, 2009 at 2:30pm

When I lived just blocks away from the South branch, I never used it. I’d hike it downtown where there were far more books available. I think branches like that probably serve people with no cars and small children rather well, but given the area (nearer to the country club area than the poorer downtown areas) I doubt there are THAT many that use it that can’t get to another branch easily.

My personal preference is to do a study of lincolnites that don’t own/can’t afford a car, and center smaller satellite branches around them. Even a storefront library branch can serve areas like this very well, by letting people request books be delivered to their branch.

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