Dear Friends and Colleagues,

 

As many of you will recall, on August 2nd we sent out a message regarding the proposed move of the Moncton Public Library. The original message is below. Attached is the response that we received from that letter on August 10th from Mr. Dennis Cochrane.  I have also included our follow-up response which was sent out earlier today.

 

Kindest regards to all,

Suzanne

 

Suzanne van den Hoogen

APLA President 2016-17

 

 

From: Suzanne van den Hoogen
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2016 12:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Fw: Open Letter Regarding the Proposal to Move the Moncton Public Library

 

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

 

I am writing to inform you that the following letter was sent to Mayor Dawn Arnold today with regards to the proposal to move the Moncton Public Library.

 

Many thanks to Jocelyne Thompson, Chair of our APLA Advocacy Committee for her work on the creation of this document.

 

All the best,

Suzanne 

 


From: Suzanne van den Hoogen
Sent: August 2, 2016 12:07 PM

Subject: Open Letter Regarding the Proposal to Move the Moncton Public Library

 

 

 

 

 

School of Information Management, Faculty of Management

Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building

6100 University Avenue

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5

 

Her Worship Mayor Dawn Arnold

Moncton City Hall

655 Main Street

Moncton, NB E1C 1E8

 

 

August 2, 2016

 

 

Re: Open Letter Regarding the Proposal to Move the Moncton Public Library

 

Dear Madame Mayor Arnold:

 

APLA represents approximately 400 library workers and supporters across the Atlantic region. I am writing on their behalf with respect to the proposal to move the Moncton Public Library from its current downtown location, as a way of supporting the creation of a new cultural centre in a renovated Moncton High School.  The City has been under considerable pressure to approve the project and we commend you and your Council for delaying a decision until the business plan can be properly reviewed.  We also wish to stress the importance of involving professional library staff at all phases of the evaluation process.

 

While on the surface the idea of including the MPL as the cornerstone of a revitalization project of this kind seems compelling, many issues must be considered.  Repurposing an 80-year-old building to conform to the requirements of a 21st century library is a challenge.  As it is, the MPL occupies space that was purpose-built to meet its requirements and a considerable amount of money was recently spent to refresh and upgrade the space.  The MPL, in its current location, has been and continues to be a success story and a jewel in the crown of New Brunswick’s public library system.  There is much at risk here, so it is reasonable that questions will be asked with the expectation that they will be taken seriously and fully answered.  For instance:

 

·         How adequate is the space being considered to the functional requirements of a modern library?  Square footage is just one aspect of the question; is all the space suitable for the use to be made of it?

·         Can the building sustain the electrical demands of a modern public library?

·         Can the space be designed to be accessible, conforming to modern-day standards and expectations?

·         Is there room to expand, as collections and services grow?

·         Can the space accommodate adequate seating and different types of user spaces?

·         Are the floors structurally equipped to bear the weight of loaded bookshelves?

·         Is there sufficient pedestrian traffic in the area to make this a better location for the MPL?

·         Have the projected costs been thoroughly analysed?

 

There are many legitimate concerns with respect to moving the library at all, and to moving it into the proposed space in particular.  Last winter, as a member of the MPL Board, you yourself expressed doubts about the wisdom of this plan.  We urge you now to seek the advice of professionals in the New Brunswick public library system; as experts in their field, they are best qualified to make a thorough and informed evaluation of the proposal put forward by MH Renaissance Inc.

 

Thank you for your commitment to public library service and to the Moncton Public Library especially.  We wish you well in your first term as mayor.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Suzanne van den Hoogen

APLA President 2016-17

 

Cc to:

Hon. Donald Arseneault, Minister, PETL

Sylvie Nadeau, Executive Director, NBPLS

Monique LeBlanc, MLA, Moncton East

Hon. Chris Collins, MLA, Moncton South

Ernie Steeves, MLA, Moncton Northwest

Sherry Wilson, MLA, Moncton Southwest

Greg Turner, Moncton City Council

Pierre Boudreau, Moncton City Council

Blair Lawrence, Moncton City Council

Shawn Crossman, Moncton City Council

Robert McKee, Moncton City Council

René Landry, Moncton City Council

Paulette Thériault, Moncton City Council

Charles Léger, Moncton City Council

Bryan Butler, Moncton City Council

Paul Pellerin, Moncton City Council