Confident in library staff
I am writing today in response to the letter from Daniel Andrews (5/15/21). I commend the Highlands County commissioners for making the sensible decision to leave the Sebring Public Library where it is. I attended the public meeting where the long-term use plan for the City Pier waterfront was supposed to be revealed. I found the “plan” to be vague – certainly no reason to tear down buildings that are serving a useful purpose.
I agree with Mr. Andrews that the most valuable asset of the county public libraries is the staff and volunteers. And for that reason, I trust them to continue to make the libraries relevant to the needs of the community. Going forward, it may be necessary to repurpose certain areas within the existing libraries to allow for meeting space and more computer stations. I have every confidence that our libraries can meet the needs of the future.
I object to Mr. Andrews two-person “survey” to prove that our libraries are outdated. Comparing university and school libraries to public-lending libraries makes even less sense than comparing apples to oranges. School libraries are set up to support the school curriculum, not to appeal to the broader interests of a diverse community. School libraries provide study areas and technical resources for students living in noisy dorms. The mission of public libraries is much broader than that.
And as for the Sebring CRA, perhaps they should review their mission. The City Pier waterfront is an area that does not require their attention because it is not a blighted area. The CRA needs to get out of the real estate business and concentrate on their true mission, which is to “eliminate and prevent conditions of blight.”