Closing the library “to enhance the delivery of service to customers”

The holiday closing of the main library and the next-door history center for over two weeks, from December 16 through January 1, is the opposite of an enhanced delivery of service. On five of these days, the library would have been closed anyhow in observance of Christmas and New Year’s. Nonetheless, the main library, the one that actually has an appreciable number of books in it, will be closed during most of the time that the school district is taking its winter break. This, added to the curtailed schedules in the system generally (“to manage service delivery in a more efficient manner”), the dubious deaccessioning policies, and the starvation budget for subscriptions and acquisitions, is yet another example of the decline in basic services here in Austin. But that police helicopter that wakes people up every night represents an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars (plus operating costs, of course). This is written by just another disgruntled taxpayer, a heavy library-goer and one with interrupted sleep patterns.

4 Comments so far

  1. ttrentham (unregistered) on December 10th, 2004 @ 1:03 pm

    I totally agree that the cutbacks are frustrating. We’ll probably make at least one trip to the library with the kids over the winter break. We generally frequent the new and impressive Ruiz branch.

    In fact, I’ll take a moment to plug the computer classes that I volunteer teach there along with several others. The classes are probably a little too basic for most readers of Metroblogging, but you never know who might need a little help. Classes are taught at other branches as well. A small sampling of ours are Intro to Internet (a basic browsing class), Intro to E-mail (the class I’m teaching tomorrow afternoon) and Building Web Pages. Check ’em out.

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on December 10th, 2004 @ 2:21 pm

    When the Riverside branch, after moving from the Ta Lai vicinity to next-door to the Riverside movies, morphed into the Ruiz branch, much nicer physical facilities were gained. The quality of light inside the new building is beautiful. Lost was the ease of access for those arriving on foot and by bus. It also appears that the cordial Ms. B. must have retired in the interim. The desk people at the Ruiz now seem very subdued, and the swap table, if it still exists, is not in evidence.

  3. ttrentham (unregistered) on December 10th, 2004 @ 7:48 pm

    Ms. B. hasn’t retired. She’s still the librarian. There has been a turnover of the rest of the staff with just one or two remaining from the Riverside location. As with anything, I’d say it’s a mixed bag.

    I have many fond memories of that old Riverside theater. Sigh.

  4. Rantor (unregistered) on December 11th, 2004 @ 11:56 am

    It’s so good to hear that Ms. B is still around. She wasn’t in evidence any of the three visits to Ruiz thus far. Maybe it’s something about the new physical layout. At the Riverside branch I was always seeing friends and acquaintances from all over town coming from or going to those classes. They take away people’s computer fear.

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