Reston Spring

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Op-Ed: Let's Have a Dialogue on Library Changes, Sharon Bulova, Annandale Patch, August 24, 2013

Caught trying quietly to decimate the FCPL library system, Chairman Bulova tries to save face and the "BETA PROJECT" by talking about it instead of just ramming it into place.  

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova says she will ask county library board to delay beta testing, but also wants citizens to chime in on proposed changes.

By Sharon Bulova

Throughout the year, I am asked to give brief “State of the County” speeches to civic associations, business groups and other community organizations. When I list Fairfax County’s greatest assets I always include Fairfax County’s top-tier library system.

Not only are our libraries places for the pursuit of knowledge and information, but they also bring us together around a range of community and educational opportunities. Parents bring their children to Storytime and other children’s programs. Students use the library for research, tutoring and homework. Some residents rely on the library as their only Internet access portal. Many simply use the libraries to check out a good book. No matter how we choose to use them, in Fairfax County we value our libraries. . .
(Blah, blah, blah...)

While there is a great deal of confusion and miscommunication surrounding this proposed re-organization, community members have expressed legitimate concerns regarding some of the changes.

I believe it is crucial that library staff and patrons are at the table to discuss this proposal and provide their perspective. This dialogue is essential to discern what changes will best improve our libraries both for the present and in the long-run.

At our next Board Meeting on Sept. 10, I will be joining several of my colleagues in asking the Library Board and Staff to delay implementation of the "beta testing" they are doing to make sure sufficient community and workforce engagement is included in the consideration of changes.

If you are a regular library user, or feel strongly about continuing to have a successful library system, I encourage you to attend the Library Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at George Mason Regional Library. . . .
Click here for the rest of this Op-Ed. 

You be the judge of how hypocritical it is for Chairman Bulova to, on the one hand, "value our libraries" and, on the other, characterize them as "not a core responsibility of the County."

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