We're currently in process of building a new Elementary K-5 school
and combining one of our five public library branches with the
school library in 4,000 sq.ft. of space. I am Head of Branches and
Outeach Services for our library. One of our City Concilors and a
couple of parents decided we should combine the two. Our Board
agreed with them.
The School Library Media Specialist and I are writing the contracts
at the moment.There are so many details! This is no easy process!
I attended PLA's program at Conference last March to get some
background info on this process realizing it is important to be
informed when making a decision that is a new venture.
It was an eye-opening experience! Most of the
shared info indicated combinations do not work except under three
special and very specific conditions (which we're not following...if
we did, we'd have a better chance of success). The Building
Committee for the new school rejected our joint committee's decision
that it was not a good idea for us to combine services and our Board
gave in to their demands. So...we're in process. Ground has been
broken, building is going up, etc.....
Yet, ...I am hopeful the community will get what they want. We'll do
our best to provide the best service possible within the conditions
they are providing us.
The scary part is that it sets a precedent for future combinations;
and public library service as we know it(free and without
censorship) may become endangered throughout our City, County, State
and beyond...all because somebody thinks it will save money and keep
the city from closing branches.