Letter to the Editor: A Library in Town

Caring Ridgeway residents have sparked a constructive discussion about the new library. Clearly, all of the input thus far has been heartfelt and useful to ponder.

I too have some thoughts to share:

We need a library now. The temp facility is a good low cost solution for the time being. A permanent facility solution will take a long time to complete. If done right, the permanent library has to be properly studied, surveyed, grant researched, cost estimated, designed, RFPed, bids weighed and decided, and, finally constructed.

Like any project, we must also research the latest reference materials which provide insights into optimizing a library’s location, accessibility, services, layout, staffing, operating hours, equipment and product mix.

Library experts generally agree placing a library in the heart of downtown enhances library traffic, accessibility, stimulates the local economy, and affords maximum convenience.

According to The Public Library Project

“Because everyone uses them, libraries need to be accessible. It is essential to provide people with a variety of ways to get there, including convenient transit routes, walkable streets, and adequate bicycle facilities. First and foremost, libraries should be connected to the sidewalk network, not set apart and surrounded by a sea of parking. Nearby streets should be designed so that cars slow down around the library, crosswalks should be well marked, and lights should be timed for pedestrians, not vehicles.”

We must also ensure we target maximum value in the process. Fairfield is already a highly taxed county with an unresolved $40,000,000+ obligation hanging around our collective necks thanks to the previous county administration.

Let’s get the homework started and even more input flowing to ensure we have a great library for generations to come.

Randy Bright

Ridgeway