I do spend a lot of time bashing Bill Whelan. He is the lightning rod of the CCDO by virtue of his position, and so I do not apologize. But, I do have to speak out when credit is due. The county library has been in headlines on an annual basis; facing the budgetary axe all too frequently. Bill deserves credit for thinking outside the box. The Bridgeton Public Library received an extremely large windfall of public money. It seems that proponents of both the County Library and the Bridgeton Library are looking at ways to benefit and maximize this money.
A grant application from last September, slated for the City Hall building here and addressed at the county level, was part of this week’s $1.3 million block grant announcement.
But what exactly does that mean for Bridgeton and the county? Both currently operate their own libraries and will be exploring a joint operation.
The county library will be a continual point of contention – the perfect solution, it seems, might be to combine both libraries in a new location. It is fiscally responsible. The move would make the county library more accessible to at-risk and impoverished while providing the same level of service is now offers. Those that claim that the county library location is “convenient” lose that argument, as the new location would be less than 3 miles away. And, it would be accessible to MORE residents, not only those that won a car. of course many of the residents might be put off by having to share space with “those people”. As I see it, the only reason to oppose exploring this move would be a sense of elitism or racism.