Library Reform Group

May 17, 2008

Report from LPAC Meeting on May 5

Filed under: 1 — Patricia @ 12:53 pm

The Long-Range Planning subcommittee reported on their recent May 2 meeting in Public Property Director Alan Sepe’s office.  Sepe mentioned at that meeting that the City was considering retaining a consulting firm to prepare a Library Facilities Survey, which would include a conditions report, demographic report, energy audit, and survey of the current volume of use in each of the ten buildings (including Central). This Master Plan would draw upon the data already collected in recent PPL surveys and should take about 3 months to complete.

As long as the results of the study were regarded as data to be taken into advisement when making long-term plans for the library system that would also include a consideration of historical and political factors as well as demographic and physical factors, then I think we all would welcome such a report. Sepe emphasized that, as of the May 2 subcommittee meeting, the City had not definitely decided to commission this report.

Members of the Long-Range Planning subcommittee also have met with various local people in an effort to begin to find co-locations for some of the branches.  So fair, subcommittee members have met with Councilman Seth Yurdin of Fox Point and with John Sinnott of Struever Bros. about possible Olneyville sites.  More meetings are scheduled.  The subcommittee thanks Councilman Michael Solomon for his help with past and future Olneyville meetings.

Alan Sepe reported on May 2 that work is continuing on the interior of Washington Park, and the interior should be finished by the end of this month. As of May 2, the Library still hadn’t signed an agreement with the City to provide library services in the building for at least the next two years, but we have been told that this will happen.

At the May 5 LPAC meeting, the group felt that a Master Survey of PPL facilities, such as the one the City is considering, would be very helpful in making decisions about moving to a sustainable system.

It was also suggested that we might want to find a graduate student from the URI Library School who would be willling to undertake a research project to determine the successes and possible pitfalls of shifting library services to neighborhood co-locations.  Mark McKenney, LPAC member and PPL Trustee (representing the State of RI), has contacted the director of the URI Library School, who seems fairly certain that she can find someone to do this research this summer.

LPAC members at the May 5 meeting decided that we would like to present an informal resolution to the PPL trustees at their May 15 meeting, and to City officials, urging them to undertake the Master Survey of PPL facilities, as well as to encourage the URI study of co-locations, and to use this information to set priorities for achieving sustainability.

See the LPAC resolution in a separate posting.

The next meeting of LPAC is scheduled for Tuesday, June 3, at noon.


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