Sunday, May 27, 2007

I’m Concerned About The Central Branch, But I’m Not On The Building Committee. Can I Still Get Involved?

Yes, you can, and the Building Committee wants your help.

Since the Building Committee began meeting weekly (Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m., check the Library’s website ( for the location), a number of Grosse Pointe residents have been attending the meetings regularly. While they are technically not members of the Building Committee, because the meetings are rather informal, they often ask questions and offer comments during the Committee discussions. Most of the time there are sufficient copies of the documents that the Building Committee members receive during the meeting that the audience is able to have their own copies, so they get the same information as the Committee members.

The Building Committee faces a number of difficult and emotional issues regarding the Central Branch, such as whether the existing Marcel Breuer-designed building can be updated so as to avoid demolition, and how parking requirements are going to be met. The Committee wants to make the best possible recommendations to the Library Board and, in order to do that, it needs to hear from the public to ensure that different views, opinions, and ideas are all considered.

Those members of the public attending the meetings have not been shy with their opinions, and this is just the way the Building Committee wants it. These people regularly contribute to the meetings with their comments, opinions, and even their criticisms. As the Committee discusses how additional space can be used and allocated in an expanded-Central Branch, people voice their thoughts of what works, what doesn’t work, what they like and don’t like, about the other new branches in the Park and the Woods. This input is invaluable for designing the Central Branch, especially as the nature of libraries and how they are utilized continues to rapidly change.

So, attend a meeting or two and let the Building Committee know what you think.