It has been 18 years and 71 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The City of Glendale is hosting a meeting on Saturday, February 27, 2016 to receive citizen input on two proposals for a branch library serving west and south Glendale. Here is the link to the information about the meeting: . It will be an Open House at Desert Mirage Elementary School, 8500 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale, AZ between 10 AM and Noon.

I am attending and I am telling them not just “no” but “hell no.” Why? For 18 years we, in west and south Glendale, have been promised not a make-shift facility but a full-fledged branch library. Senior staff and the city council would be off the hook by throwing us a bone– a make-shift facility. That removes the pressure on all of them to fulfill a long standing 18 year promise. What are we? Chopped liver? Is it only other areas of Glendale that receive the financial resources to provide high quality amenities for its citizens? By the way, have you checked out the ramadas at Heroes Park lately? They are really dirty and in need of major maintenance. But again…it’s west and south Glendale…not Arrowhead.

The most dismaying concern is that Assistant City Manager Tom Duensing was able to find General Fund debt capacity to cover a $32 million dollar bill for land and to develop parking adjacent to the University of Phoenix Stadium but he is reluctant (or stubborn?) to find General Fund debt capacity to fund the building of a west branch library promised over 18 years ago.

People are offended and angry. Some will say but this is better than nothing and we have had nothing for a very long time. What they do not realize is this token removes the pressure from staff and from council to ever build a permanent branch library. The next time a request is made for such a facility their rationalization will be but you do have a branch library. It’s not as if the need is pressing. There are other needs that take precedence.

I encourage people from the Yucca and Ocotillo districts to attend Saturday’s Open House and to tell staff that neither a token, symbolic library branch in the Media Center nor a small, modular building in Heroes Park fulfill Glendale’s promise to its residents. Let them know it’s time to fund the branch library promised over 18 years ago.

© Joyce Clark, 2016


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