Government shows zero planning in handling of St. Thomas library
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The announcement of the change in deductions for government employees and retirees was made on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, the last day before the new medical insurance rates went into effect. This did not allow individuals sufficient time to investigate alternatives - a perfect example of bad planning, or worse.
On Dec. 18, 2012, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (note that "Planning" is part of the agency's name) announced that the Enid Baa Public Library would be closed effective that same day. Not only was there no warning, but the new Turnbull Library building will not be open until ... when? That building is not near completion.
This is not the first example of a lack of planning. Two years ago, offices in the I. Levin building were closed, computer record keeping was interrupted for months, and public-access computers were not available for a year.
Another concern about the lack of DPNR planning is staffing for the new library. For most of 2012 the Children's Room at Baa Library was closed, and the people working there had little else to keep them occupied. Yet for the new building, there is insufficient staffing, especially for evening hours.
Located in Tutu, where residents are predominantly employed in the town area, a library to fill their needs must be open in the hours after 5 p.m. This public library staff will not work that late.
Accessibility to the Turnbull Library is a major concern, also. Because of its location, people must walk or drive up a steep hill, and public transportation is inadequate. Why was this location chosen in the first place? Donated land, probably difficult to sell, is not always an advantage.
Because of the short notice, computers, especially for Internet access, will not be available. In the past, when Baa Library was open three evenings each week, patrons stopped visiting the library because the Internet was not always working. How often will patrons continue to visit the new building when they cannot find what then need and want?
The bookmobile seemingly is where current library activity will take place. Why was it not in service for many months? The driver is available, but the one woman working there to assist the public resigned. (That is another issue, one I will not explain.)
Public confidence in the St. Thomas library has degenerated to zero during the last 15 years. Enid Baa Library should not have been closed at this time. This new facility, will not improve a broken system. I, personally, blame our governor for the incompetence.
- Alan Browne, St. Thomas.