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Library is heart of the community

May 25, 2011

I am responding to the proposal to further cut — if not kill — our Chevy Chase Library, a branch that has already hemorrhaged hours, books and services (“Libraries could shoulder brunt of budget cuts,” May 12”).

Glendale public library officials have presented the City Council with a proposal to transfer management of the Chevy Chase branch to Community Services and Parks, to develop it as a community center and rental venue, and continue a “minimal library presence.” Read “minimal” as the library’s death knell.

Our isolated branch admittedly has the lowest circulation in Glendale. While Central Library is open seven days per week, and all other branches are open five days per week, ours is open only 11 hours over two days.

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Our branch also is the only one in Glendale without librarian-created programming — hence I am part of a volunteer group filling that gap with popular story times, author talks and cultural events. Our group formed in response to the crisis in 2008, when the city most recently proposed closing the branch.

Libraries provide valuable public services. Like police, fire and roads, libraries are a critical government function. They need to stay open, even in hard times.

Do we ask drivers on a sparsely traveled road to tolerate fewer repairs or eliminate service because fewer travel the road? Do we ask residents in such areas to expect police and fire protection only two days a week?

Staffing the Chevy Chase branch represents most of the $28,000 to $30,000 annual cost of keeping our branch open. Borrowing workers from branches that could scale back their hours slightly would ensure our branch remain viable.

Please don’t allow further hemorrhaging, nor cut out our community’s heart and soul — our library — in the process.

Denise Meyer

Glendale

Sidewalks are safer than city streets

It’s great that Glendale is trying to become “bike friendly,” but it has a long way to go (Police should cite errant bicyclists,” May 11).

One city law that needs to be changed is “sidewalk riding,” which is illegal. It is legal for someone in a wheelchair to use the sidewalk — why not a bicycle? I think this is a form of discrimination.

Since bicyclists aren’t being protected from reckless/speeding drivers, letting cyclists use sidewalks makes perfect, “safer” sense.

David Lee Williams

Glendale

Don’t take from us to pay for them

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