It is true that the objective of our neighborhood group is to save the Kenilworth Library. The Buffalo and Erie County Library's Strategic Service Plan has some wonderful ideas, such as "hub" and specialty libraries. However, it does not address the concerns of a neighborhood that has had a close relationship with its library.
The Kenilworth Library not only services residents from the Town of Tonawanda but also Buffalo and Eggertsville because of its close proximity to them. Despite its size, Kenilworth Library's total circulation is ranked 14 out of 52 libraries. Its children's circulation is ranked 13.
I could go on forever discussing Kenilworth's strengths, but the point is that people should read the Strategic Service Plan and be aware of what the county library system is proposing for their community.
Our concern is not only losing neighborhood libraries, but what then happens to these vacant buildings. Brighton and Kenilworth occupy buildings owned by the Town of Tonawanda. Do we sell these buildings? Who would buy them, and what impact would this have on property values?
It is true that some sacrifices must be made for the public libraries to exist, but at what cost to a community? A library's closing would be one more blow to a community that is trying to bring young families back to the city and older suburbs.
Without any opposition to this plan, there would be no exchange of ideas or search for the best possible solution.
Our group believes that by discussing the plan and its impact on the neighborhood, we as a community may help create a plan that would not close these neighborhood libraries and also achieve the goal of better equipped-libraries at a much lower social and financial cost.
Eileen Crawford Buffalo