on December 10, 2015 by test_editor in Archive_2015, December, Print Articles, Comments Off on December 10, 2015: READ-ing Between The Lines; Library board report ignores community.

December 10, 2015: READ-ing Between The Lines; Library board report ignores community.

December 10, 2015: READ-ing Between The Lines;
Library board report ignores community.

By Blaine Marchand.

“We are puzzled and concerned about the processes of the Ottawa Library Board,” Richard Van Loon, Chair of the Rosemount Expansion and Development (READ) group said in a recent interview. “Last year at this time, we were told that the $700,000 that had been set aside for planning at Rosemount Library was gone. Then we were informed it had not been used and that an additional, nominal $1 million was allocated for the Library in 2017. In our on-going discussions with the Library, we have consistently asked that a planning study be done, in consultation with the community. Now we have learned that one has been done, but without any consultation.”

The READ group, which comprises seven community associations as well as concerned citizens they represent, will make a presentation to the Library Board at a December 1st meeting. It will raise its concerns about the recommendations of the report on the future of Rosemount Library.

“We only came to know of the report because we received a copy by a back-door route”, Van Loon added. “While the report’s stated aim was to review the site constraints, it was limited to analyzing the limitations of the current zoning, the construct-ability, and building infrastructure servicing the building. Given the negative terms of reference, it comes as no surprise that the report finds no viable option to consider.”

According to READ, the real intent behind the report was to tell city officials why nothing much could be done. Van Loon pointed out that the report is remiss in setting out even rough cost estimate options of what could be done. It mentions two types of expansion, both potentially costly, but gives no indication of what the real costs would be. It asserts only that expansion would be too expensive and gives no indication of actual improvements that could be made within the existing building envelope.

The Rosemount Library is the only existing Carnegie library in the city and will celebrate its centennial in 2018. It has had no significant renewal since 1985. Facilities are cramped with almost no seating, no programming space and no real meeting rooms. The building is a much loved community and city resource but is on the verge of terminal decay.

In addition, the branch is now almost engulfed by the Tamarack condominium development being erected on the corner of Rosemount and Wellington.

“Rosemount has the second largest circulation per square foot among the branch libraries,” Van Loon pointed out. “Among comparable type branches, Rosemount’s circulation is over 50% higher than the next one on the list. More than 250,000 books were taken out by Rosemount users last year. This is not surprising since Rosemount serves a very large catchment. It is the only branch between the central library and Carlingwood, which is 10 kilometers away.”

“Many in our community do not agree with the process that led to the report. There should have been consultation. There should be actual cost estimates of the options for expansion as well as renewal of the Library. This needs to be done in time to be considered for the 2017 budget.”

For those interested in learning more about READ, please visit their website: http://www.readrosemount.ca .

printable bookmark contact sheet

Slippin sideways.

Photo Caption: READ’s info bookmark (here on its side for printing) may be found in your community.

[Ed: further reading: check the author’s previous article April 16, 2015: Rosemount Library; A literary gem due for an upgrade.,
or look up December 5, 2013: Rosemount Library Turns 95! – by – Carol Paschal.
]

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