Friday, January 05, 2007

library closing for construction January 14th

The Greenburgh Library will close for construction on January 14th. The temporary satellite libraries at Town Hall and at the Multipurpose Center, Veteran Town Park, will open on January 24th at 9 AM. I continue to believe that the satellite library locations are inadequate (very small space) and that we need to rent space elsewhere. Over 70% of the books will be placed in storage during the construction, I have been told. In the past, I have suggested that we consider opening up satellite locations on East Hartsdale Ave and at the Greenburgh Nature Center.
During the construction of the library I will be asking for periodic accountings re: how many people are using the satellite libraries...the number of books being taken out from the satellite libraries. I believe that library patrons deserve a functioning library during the next two years -when construction is taking place. We should aggressively pursue additional space.


hal samis said...

Well let's realize that this means the front door will finally be shut. In reality, the prospective move has been underway for a month -- and this had already had a deleterious effect upon Patron satisfaction.

Are Patrons aware that Greenburgh Library owned items are already not available for Reserve. Only if the item is available from other WLS member libraries can it be reserved.
This situation supposedly will end on January 24 but the information comes from "those wonderful folks who gave you" Spring 2006 as the start of construction and Fall 2006 as the start of construction, and, of course, the all inclusive $19.8 million budget. And, a goodly number of Greenburgh items will be consigned to dead storage as well.

Now, as for what can you expect when the satellite branches are in operation. Where is Johnny Carson/Karnak when you most need him. Me? I'm thinking that the two year "transition" is not going to be good.
After all, the Library said our existing 22,000 foot building is way over-crowded and that's why they needed a 46,000 foot building.
So, having to make do with under 6,000 feet in three locations does not suggest a tolerable formula.

No, wait, you can get 24/7 reference help from a live, on-line librarian.
They didn't tell the taxpayers about this during the pre-referendum informations sessions did they?
What they did tell you about was the huge increase in reference requests.
So, at a crossroads with two roads to choose from: one road says we need a larger Library because we need a larger reference section; the other road says we can handle reference requests for patrons without them even going to the Library.
Which road did the Trustess take?

And, as of this writing I don't believe that the winning bidders and the Town have yet signed contracts. And, as of this writing, I know that that the NYC DEP (the buried water aquaduct beneath the Library) has signed off and allowed the geothermal drilling (the HVAC system) to commence.
Without this, the Library may have to rethink the HVAC source and this may cause some change orders if the contracts get signed.

So what do you think, is the Library shutting down prematurely in their rush to commence experiencing the problems inherit in only 6,000 feet of space?

And, oddly enough, if the move out does occur this month, does the Town Comptroller still think that the Town Board approved 2007 Library operating budget will really spend the almost $310,000 allocated to repairs and maintenance of the non-existant building? That makes last year's repairs and maintenance on an existing building a bargain at about $3000 more for the entire year. Thankfully we already have a new Town Hall, taxpayers couldn't afford the maintenance on both a non-existing Town Hall and a non-existing Library? Even if they save money on maintenance by having a garage for sanitation trucks which is too small to accomodate the trucks.

I mention this because the common element is Al Regula, the DPW czar.
Some of the blog readers have complained about non-leaf pickup and non-garbage pickup and even a non-working Hartsdale clock. Add to that the non-building maintenance expense of the old Library and the non-housed garbage trucks and you're at the door marked Mr. Regula who provides non-responses for Library FOIL requests. Mr. Regula was annointed by the Town Council to supervise the Library expansion project so that they could say they did their best. Mr. Regula is to supplement the non-knowledge of the Library Trustees Building Committee, Howard Jacobs (former high school principal) Susan Wolfert (former bank employee, now Scarsdale Inquirer reporter) and Estelle Palevsky (reading specialist).

Together, since the referendum, they have managed to downgrade the expansion from a 200+ seat auditorium to 140 seats, from being a dividable room to non-dividable, from 160 parking spaces to 120, from inside cybermobile parking to the unprotected outside...but they have been able to retain the cafe.

And, best of all, they have been able to tell Patrons that the temporary space will be adequate while letting alternate satellite locations slip away. Other libraries when undergoing new construction have all been successful in arranging adequate temporary space. This is done by planning the move simultaneous with the architectural plans. In Greenburgh, the OAT meeting minutes reveal repeated warnings that the relocation plans must be in place by December 31 2005. Of course, thanks to the Town Board, luckily there was some available space in Town Hall to resolve the matter by September 2006.

OK, bring it on. I'm ready.