To The Daily Sun,
I read the jarring article by renown journalist Michael Kitch in the Laconia Sun dealing with Meredith's Public Library. The library panel apparently voted to leave the present site. The Site Selection Committee asked for approval on the "abandonment of this historic facility" and for a dialogue with the public on whether to abandon the present site. We look forward to erudite and rigorous discussions as well as some intellectual diligence and reliable data.
I have been out of the loop on the politics of this audacious thunderclap decision. My family likes the library and its present location. It is a beautiful building and is on the National Historic Register. The beautiful location is excellent and it is easily accessible. The interior of the building is beautiful, comfortable and possesses enormous old world charm. The views from the second floor writing and reading table are exceptional. The woodwork in the interior is incomparable. This is a special building. They don't make structures like this anymore. I remember when a new addition had been added and I think a new roof was also added as well.
The library is an artistic treasure. It is part of our town's culture and history. It is a museum representing who we are. We are an intelligent species. Why vacate with mindless abandon what is a perfectly good building in a great location?
I think we must acknowledge our responsibility to our residents who advocate for a remarkable, distinctive architectural structure whose design shows ingenuity, grace and is stunning for its raw emotional force. Meredith is where I live. I have a connection to the library and its faded elegance geographically and morally. It has a distinct personality, exudes intimacy, coziness, and is a welcome retreat for thought.
My compelling interest in the library is that it is part of the town's historic attraction and a quiet place to read and write. It is part of our legacy. We don't need a contemporary structure on the site.
What are the plans for the building? Will it be renovated, converted, updated and restored or torn down. I don't like to hear about destruction and rebuilding. I have chosen Meredith as my home. The library is a home-like place for me to read and conduct research.
What will unfold next? I have memories of the library. The library is a showcase in the town. I have had many hours of happiness in the building. It is not obsolete.
We have a library in the high school and another in the elementary school, so space is not an issue.
The changes in Meredith are astonishing. The landscape is in a constant stage of transformation, blending postwar with slapdash restaurants and bars. The pace of reconstruction has accelerated. The town is being transfigured. The town planner apparently has an ambitious redevelopment scheme. The library does not sit on a dowdy corner. It is an inextricable part of Meredith's historical arc, and cannot be ignored.
Are the decision makers considering leveling the building and replacing it with taupe-and-glass office tower, or an anesthetized chain store, tourist trap and bank branch? Maybe a sidewalk cafe for clientele who are businessmen or bikers.
Why the ferocious drive to close the de facto library? What is the existential crises?
What are the plans for the new library?
What are the plans for the old library building?
Will it be sold and or open for public bid?
What are the costs of a new facility vs necessary additions/ renovations to the current library to accommodate clientele including older citizens?
Are we running around with a surplus of funds?
Are we to get slammed with new taxes ?
I recall that we recently went through a torrent of new high-priced construction: A new community center, police station, fire station and all-weather track and field. There was an understanding that there would be a moratorium on new town construction in order to hold down the requirement for raising taxes.
Closing the library will be deeply disruptive. I want the leaders of this effort to marshal their thoughts and do their personal best at thinking this through with intellectual rigor.
Richard Gunnar Juve
- Category: Letters
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