School/Community libraries

The DNT editorial today strongly urged that Duluth consider using our new high school libraries as community libraries since the upkeep on the Main City library is getting more expensive. That prompted a comment to me in my inbox:

On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 8:24 AM, ********** wrote:

DNT attempts to paint a marriage made in heaven by mixing the libraries.

Money: there is a recently approved tax to maintain city libraries and parks, not the school’s libraries
Parking: barely sufficient for students
Accesability: Bus stop directly in front of downtown, centrally located library.
Safety: Schools just had to be sure no riff raff ever crossed their thresholds with monitoring devices. Now what ? (Also will story time for toddlers be amongst hormonal teenagers?)
Hours of operation: Who can use the library and when?
Civil rights: Libraries are the great equalizer, opening up information to everyone. This plan sounds so much like the RP, a middle class perspective by those of comfortable means.

Duluth wants to be an urban, upscale town and cannot even keep its libraries open?

Too many unexpected, unwanted consequences with the latest scheme to help the schools, that is really what this is about.

My reply:

I don’t oppose the idea *******, It matches arguments I’ve made before about community use of our schools. However, the first thing I thought of was that if we permitted this we would certainly want to install metal detectors. There would be no way of screening crazies who might hide their ill intent by pretending to visit the school library. The liability would be too great.


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