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Updates regarding the Branch
Professor Lou Kruger of Northeastern University had some questions about the MCAS and high-stakes testing. Join us to see the answers he found through his film, "Children Left Behind." Free screening on Monday, December 14, at 7PM, at the Waban Library Center, 1608 Beacon Street, Waban. Lou will join us for a brief discussion after his film.
Film trailer at www.childrenleftbehind.com or call Lauren Paul (617-559-9967) for more info.
I'm writing this note to call for volunteers to serve on the board of the Waban Library and Cultural Center. As we've discussed, this "Library of the Future" will be used to host educational and cultural community activities, and provide on-line access to information in addition to traditional book lending.
Alderman Bill Brandel is in discussions with the mayor, and has requested that we provide a strawman "volunteer staffing schedule" (meaning, it can be finalized later) to show that we are SERIOUS, and SERIOUS we are, folks. My preference is to submit a strawman schedule to Bill by this Monday, if possible. As of August 11th we already have 12 volunteers covering 30 hours, we need more so please join up!
So, here are our actions:
It appears the letter given to the Alderman on May 23 listing costs for the branches was a work of fiction. Line items such as the salaries quoted were for full time employees - not part time, utility bills were guessed at, it goes on. Apparently headcount numbers were "creative" as well which may have implications for grants received.
There will be a meeting of the NFL Trustees Tuesday July 15 8:30am at the Main Library. We need to show support and put some heat on the trustees.
What I have learned in a nutshell: the trustees have been along for the ride and nobody has been questioning anything. Director Glick-Weil called all the shots and her agenda all along has been to close all the branches. We found a host of questionable items and budget errors which has aroused the interest of the Attorney General and the State Board. Bottom line; there is NO vision for the future which includes any branches.
Again, my fear is once they sever the link between the Main Library and the branches, there will be NO SUPPORT FOR ANY LIBRARY FUNCTIONS at any branches. I once thought the Waban Library would make a great creperie and jazz club and to heck with the books. But now I believe that most of us would be losing something important we never even knew we had. We MUST NOT let this happen.
Note Ald. Gentile's email at the bottom. Much of what has been found is in this editorial below - pardon the length.
Next Step: schedule a meeting of the task force to flesh out our proposal and determine who and what will be needed to provide necessary details. Please let me know your availability but I would like a weekday evening within the next few weeks.
Prior to this meeting, please take a few minutes and read the following short articles:
Two very thought provoking articles on the future of libraries from Thomas Frey, Executive Director of the DaVinci Institute. Sometimes referred to as the "Dean of Futurists."
Two more things:
I just spoke with Senator Creem who gives her support and agrees that the library should stay a community asset and it would be best if it could retain a library function.
There is no end of maneuvering in this battle as evidenced by Alderman Bill Brandel's recounting of the events in his email below. We could do a lot of finger pointing and demand where was the support for the override if the branches were so important? We could look closer at the main branch library budget which contains some fuzzy math - no doubt padded to protect from cuts. We could ask why the branches were held to severely limited hours and why MWF. Why not Tuesday when all the schools are out?
The BOA meeting held Wednesday June 11th was attended by most of the Alderman and about 150 people. As could be expected, in a game of "Survivor," the Main library was pitted against the branches.