To The Daily Sun,
Richard Juve and his breakfast buddies need a reality check. Since 1901, the town of Meredith has owned the Benjamin Smith Library and the land it sits on. The building was donated to Meredith. The town purchased and cleared the land as a precondition of that gift. The Meredith's Selectboard and, ultimately, town residents control what happens to this property.
Demolition, removal of any war memorials, replacement by an Italian restaurant or super-expensive wine bar, neon signs and nude statues? These ridiculous scenarios exist only in Mr. Juve's overheated imagination. The building and all the features he admires will not magically vaporize and disappear if the library moves out.
Meantime, his self-indulgent, irresponsible and alarmist rhetoric is distracting citizens from the very real problems facing the Meredith Public Library in its current location: Lack of space, limited access, serious inefficiencies, multiple fire-code violations, ADA and the restrictive regulations that apply to listed buildings.
In July alone, more than 800 children attended programs at the library. Did they all walk? Did their families help the local economy, combining a one- to two-hour library visit with dining or shopping on Main Street? Did this influx make traffic and parking even more difficult for legitimate customers and Post Office patrons?
While Mr. Juve feels entitled to his walk and his enjoyment of the atmosphere and view, other whole segments of our population are denied full use of library services due to the building's configuration. Is this fair?
Is it impartial to label studies "woefully inadequate," decisions "illogical," and facts "unclear," and then to publicize these condemnations without any review of the evidence?
So far, we have had three long letters from Mr. Juve, all very entertaining, all full of misconceptions and wild accusations. I challenge Mr. Juve (his breakfast buddies and others to whom this applies) to rise above the level of erroneous gossip.
Visit the library, take a tour, view the research, talk to the staff, read other letters on this topic (two from me) that have appeared in The Sun. Become informed before you jump to conclusions.
I look forward to a fourth letter that is relevant, accurate and actually helpful in this debate about our library location.
Pamela Coburn, Trustee
Meredith Public Library