Visit to recent Cooper Library Board meeting perplexes local citizen

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Well, here I am again…a snake in the grass. This is in reference to my letter to you in your June 15 Opinion Column.

Along with your News Editor, I also attended the Cooper Library Board meeting on July 9, 2012, and was astonished at what transpired.

In review, the Genealogical Society of East Alabama (GSEA), which was granted space on the third floor (mezzanine) for the GSEA book inventory, supplies and private collection, has been working diligently to reduce its (GSEA’s) space in order for the Cooper Library to expand its genealogical collection as well as make it more user friendly.

Now comes a proposal to move (not only GSEA) the entire genealogical collection to the basement of the library.

When I left the meeting the Library Board was attempting to estimate the cost of this proposal. One board member asked the Director for her cost estimate. She said, “$10,000.” the member then said, “Ask for $15,000; could ask for a million, you won’t get it; you should ask for $15,000.”

Also, the board approved dissolving the agreement previously granted to GSEA for certain space on the third floor mezzanine.

In my previous letter to you, I made reference to a million dollar blunder; well, here is just another example, in my opinion.

Seems to me the best alternative would be to move GSEA to a “closet” space for its inventory, which is not accessed regularly, and keep the genealogy section on the third floor mezzanine level, considering the current and future use of the library’s space and thus continuing the good-will of what GSEA has done for the library in service and commitment of GSEA funds plus granting proceeds from GSEA book sales.

I think our mindset of spending the taxpayers’ dollars has gotten totally out of control. This is just another case of rewarding the few at the expense of the many.

Yes, I have read the adopted resolution #012-02 which was drafted before the recent Library Board meeting. The resolution puts GSEA on notice they must vacate the Cooper Library within 90 days (it was signed by both Aimee Sykes as Chairman and by Shirley Carter as Vice-Chairman).

The Board also approved adding $15,000 to next year’s budget request to the Mayor to move GSEA and the genealogy collection to the basement. Which one are they serious about?

‘Nuff said,

Newell Floyd

Opelika

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