Today’s header in the JS “More Than Books” written by Pam Adams was a distortion of the truths. Ms.Adams’ article says “The South Side Library on West Krause in Peoria could close its doors if plans for its RENOVATION ($485,000.00 plus was recently spent to totally renovate this Library) are turned down on the referendum vote.” This statement is a total falsehood; all library spokespersons have said that the South Side Library is “underutilized” and has poor attendance and have said that if the referendum PASSES, the South Side Library will be closed. In the Peoria Public Library Strategic Plan, it reads “It is a fact that library usage on the south side is poor. A state of the art 30,000 square foot building should be explored.” They say two south side libraries, River West and Southside, could be combined into one 30,000 sq, ft. at the Lincoln Library site.
Ms. Adams has made a false statement probably to encourage voters to vote yes because who would want to take library service away from the readers on the south side?
Because Ms. Adams has made a false statement, I called Anthony Smith at the JS and asked him to make a correction in tomorrow’s newspaper. I have met Anthony on several occasions and believe him to be a fair reporter. If the referendum PASSES, it is stated in publicized plans, the South Side Library will be closed. I believe this is another attempt to make black people feel like they are victims. We don’t need more lies in this community, many of us have heard enough.
Just as a reminder, two library spokespeople appeared before the City Council in 2002 and pleaded for money to put in an elevator to the 2nd floor of the newly remodeled South Side Library and the City gave them an additional $200,000.00 to do so. Reason for the request; the library was “bursting at the seams”, they said. Four years after this additional two hundred thousand dollars was spent, the Library Board want to close it because it is “underutilized”.
Think carefully about where Peoria’s priorities lies before you encourage the City Council to give $35,000,000.00 to the “new in town” Head Librarian to spend to spend.