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Who, by name, is advocating the closure of the Meredith Library?

To The Daily Sun,

A requiem for our cherished historic landmark Meredith Library will commence shortly. Our treasured building will be vacated, destroyed or renovated for mysterious purposes. We don't need a sterile factory for a library located out of town.
I read the article by Pam Finer, who succinctly expressed the attitudes of many old-timers who enjoy the fine qualities of "old world" comforts and finery that the current facility provides.

Many seniors walk to the current library site. Tourists enjoy the architectural qualities of the library and the gorgeous flower garden on the front slope. The Garden Club does a magnificent job planting arranging and maintaining the beautiful award-winning garden. The cozy interior is comforting and intoxicating in its ability to provide comfort in silent thought while reading and reflecting on deep thoughts and philosophies.

Many can't drive to a library on the perimeter of the town's borders. A library at the traffic circle near a burger joint is outrageous.

Who is behind this astonishing move to relocate the Meredith library? Our library has immense charm. It is not suited as a bed and breakfast facility and will not serve well as a restaurant.

Meredith has three libraries. Why continue duplicating facilities? We have a library at the high school, elementary school and a library quintessentially American across the street from the post office, a building that is widely admired and inexorably highlights the drama of our past and the Greatest Generation.

Accessibility for the handicapped can be achieved by adding an elevator on the exterior wall of the existing building like one sees at five-star hotels.

Is there a quid-pro-quo deal being conducted? This is a highly charged emotional issue. A lot of sweat and idealism went into fund-raising for this building. This is an issue dealing with human values. We have a remarkable building why vacate and abandon it? Many worked with passion and determination to build and maintain this fascinating and inspiring building.

I remember the successful big fund-raising project for the addition to the original library and the new roof and the town's expensive efforts to do repointing repairs on the library brick.

The library is adequate and moving it to the periphery of town where no one can access it on foot is uncharitable. Seniors find the present library comfortable and accessible.

It is a town symbol of who we are. It is incredible to think that unexpectedly the building serves no purpose.

I suspect a sinister force at work. Who is pushing this project and why? We are tired of having our taxes increased and finding a constant challenge to build more structures at taxpayers' expense. Meredith should not be building a new city, but preserving the heritage that we have in this town.

We duplicate facilities in Meredith. For example we have a business office for the town and a business office for the schools. If the town wants to save money, consolidate the two offices. Consolidate the libraries if the issue is a budgetary matter.

Who is recommending that the library be moved? I have never found it hard to find parking space. The canal parking lot should suffice as overflow.

Who by name is advocating the closure of the library. Handicapped requirements can be satisfied at a cost of about $500,000. If children are the issue, then upgrade the libraries at the elementary school.

If the library is not needed because people use the internet, a new library located on the periphery of town is unnecessary. Don't spend money on a new expensive library. The existing building is part of our culture.

This all leads me to suspect that there is an ulterior motives to move the library and use the library for an unspecified future function. Who are the esteemed experts with this creative inspiration?

Our existing library invites you to capture the magnificent landscape of Meredith. It focuses on the social dynamics of our past. The interior is a sanctuary of pleasures comforting, luxurious and beautiful with handsome furnishing and fine amenities. It is the ideal place to rest, relax and retire with a book. The building has an air of elegance and was designed for your enjoyment and privacy. It is the ultimate sanctuary from the rush of the outside world.

Who pays for the new library? Why should the town incur new debt during a time when the economy is questionable. Why raise the taxes on the underemployed, unemployed, seniors and retired. New construction is not an option for closing the existing library for an undisclosed use and building a Taj Mahal. We have tasteless, ugly, flat-roof structures on Route 3. Why tolerate more of them?

Certain buildings are sacred. We don't need an upscale steakhouse in our former library. Our library should be included in "A World History of Art" by Hugh Honour and John Fleming. Our town can triumphantly show off our high culture. The building is part of art history, part of our lifestyle our civilization a visual art.

The interior's intimate authenticity is magical. Will the library committee find another master insightful designer to create a ground-breaking intimate facility that exudes good taste, class, charm and elegance? The world is changing around us. Can we find men with a genuine love of their craft and do wood work like that seen at the library?

The back-breaking gardening and gorgeous landscape work performed by volunteers who produce grace and elegance in colorful flowers and important botanical collections is enthralling. Gardening satisfies a spiritual hunger as do good books at our library. Will this oasis disappear when our rare library is torn from us. Take my library and my soul will become dormant.

Richard Gunnar Juve

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This was truly another day for the history books at Belknap Mill

To the Editor,

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Peter S. Karagianis led the charge to save and preserve the Belknap Mill from its almost certain fate: to make way for 14 parking spaces. Even now, it is hard to believe the dramatic difference the absence of the mill might have made to the Lakes Region. We might have lost a beautiful landmark that defines Laconia's skyline and marks its entrance with grace. We might have lost a building of profound historic significance, one of the oldest remaining industrial sites of its kind in the country. We might have lost the chief symbol of our community's manufacturing heritage. We might have lost a vital resource for education, culture and civic engagement.

It is hard to imagine our community without the Belknap Mill.

It was therefore a heartfelt honor to recognize and celebrate the man whose vision and leadership profoundly changed Laconia and the Lakes Region for the better. We will always remember Peter S. Karagianis' contributions.

It is with gratitude and humility that we acknowledge the contributions of those who helped us to celebrate Peter's remarkable legacy. Our presenters, whose words evoked deep regard for Peter as a community statesman, colleague, friend and father: John Walker (president of Laconia Kiwanis), Senator Andrew Hosmer, Laconia Mayor Ed Engler, Attorney Rod Dyer and S. Peter Karagianis. We thank the City of Laconia for its enthusiastic consent when approached by the Laconia Historical Society with the proposal to designate Peter Karagianis Way. Thank you to Warren Huse, Judy Buswell, David Stamps and Judy Taggart for their invaluable support and guidance. The Board of Directors is continually grateful for the staff of the Belknap Mill Society, Tara Shore and Jennifer McLean, for their boundless energy and unflagging commitment. And we offer our deepest appreciation to S. Peter Karagianis and the Karagianis family for their open-hearted generosity and their ongoing support of the Belknap Mill.

Finally, thank you to the many people who shared this occasion to pay their respects to Peter and remember his important work. This was truly another day for the history books at the Belknap Mill.

Allison Ambrose, President

Belknap Mill Society

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