On Thursday, January 15, Rochambeau Friends of the Library sponsored a Roundtable discussion on the Future of the Branches. Representing PPL was board trustee Rob Taylor. Linda Kushner and Marcus Mitchell spoke for Providence Community Library. Councilman Kevin Jackson also participated and made a strong statement that he spoke for 10 councilpeople when he vowed that no library branches would be allowed to close.
Linda Kushner asserted that the newly formed Providence Community Library would have a governance structure that is community-based and that PCL would keep open all nine branches (including the currently-shuttered Washington Park).
Rob Taylor noted that PPL plans to close five branches by July 1 in order to make the transfer to a “sustainable” library system. Taylor suggested that the five smaller branches could be turned over to the neighborhoods to serve as “community centers,” an offer that Councilman Jackson roundly rejected, saying that the plan was not feasible since there would be no funding for these “community centers.” Of the PCL proposal, Taylor said that the Library couldn’t evaluate the plan until PPL had “seen the figures.”