Building Open Opportunity Structures

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Constructive Proposal? Trenton Library System

Dear Friends:

Please read the article below and chime in on the question:

Is this a constructive proposal? Could this spur greater alignment of local community assetts to a broader array of regional assets? Can Trenton residents benefit? Will county residents benefit?

If yes, why? If no, why not?

Thank you for blogging with Building Open Opportunity Structures.

Article here is from Times of Trenton, dated Wednesday, June 20th.

Freeholder suggests county should take over city libraries

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

TRENTON -- In the wake of recent stories in The Times documenting problems in the Trenton Public Library system -- including questionable employment practices and regular clashes between the last library director and the library board president -- Freeholder Tony Mack yesterday suggested the city's five libraries should be taken over by the county.

"The city library's problems have been going on for too long, some staff members say since the early 1990s. ... The Mercer County Library System needs to take over the Trenton libraries as soon as possible," Mack said in a statement sent to local media.

Mack suggests that a Trenton representative could be appointed to the county library board, while the city's current library board members could be formed into an advisory committee for the county system.

City library employees also could be transferred to the county system, Mack said.

"This is really the most logical solution, one that is long overdue. Trenton is the Mercer County seat and any historic reasons for it to run its own library faded away years ago. Trenton's population and its information needs have changed -- the real world of information has changed. Our county system does a better job of keeping up with the times, but a merger of resources of the two systems would benefit everyone," Mack said.

Peter Daly, a Mercer County spokesman, last night said the county had not been informed of Mack's suggestion and that any talk of a merger could not begin to take place unless the city administration and the city's library board made such a request.

A request for a reaction to Mack's suggestion made by The Times to the office of Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer was not immediately returned last night.

"If nothing else, we owe it to the children of Trenton to fix the library mess," Mack said in his release. "How are they supposed to achieve the fluency in reading, common knowledge, and research skills we expect of them if we cannot provide a municipal library full of the books, magazines, and information resources they lack at home. Expanding the Mercer County system's 10 branch libraries to 15 -- where residents can borrow materials from all and connect to information around the globe -- that's a winner!"

© 2007 The Times of Trenton

© 2007 All Rights Reserved.


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