Let's try to get over the notion that people mind driving distances. If they don't want to drive why do they build so far out? I haven't heard much from the north siders, excluding any that work for the library, complaining that they don't have libraries next door. Correct me if I'm wrong but grocery stores, far more needed than libraries, are rather widely spaced. Gas stations that were once on every block corner are now sometimes hard to find if you are new in town. Only one small grocer at "pay to park" in downtown Peoria, not much on the South side and Cubs up on Knoxville which sometimes looks more like a liquor store.
Face it, we people on the north side like to get in oue expensive vehicles and drive.
Maybe we should move the Courthouse and City Hall out to "the center of the city", wherever that is. How about moving the Civic Center, Ball park and RiverPlex further north and leave the Lakeview Museum where it is.
I know that Heights Library is underutilized and I believe Dunlap will also be underutilized as a library. A Peoria Library card is now good in 198 communities in central Illinois.
Peoria, stop trying to keep up with your neighbors in everything. We are failing in many ways more important than libraries. Ask me where? Read my older archives. No need to wonder why the African-American Museum at Proctor Center has been closed this year; lack of volunteers, they say. What happened to hyped Community Builders year round programs that were to bring families together for learning experiences? Our schools were supposed to be open for all but only Trewyn is open to a handful of grade school kids. Why is the B & G Club on the south side closed; they are the ones using Trewyn, for 13 months, why did so few people ever use the Southside Library or the RiverWest library and the failure of Manual except for sports and a fair number in academics?
No, it's more important to build stand alone libraries for people who love to drive, expand libraries for people who use them less for books other than romances and more for computers; you don't need a library to surf computers. The library administration could take a burden off the library "clerks" and install self-check-out machines at all locations.
It' more important to expand a zoo that will raise your property bill higher next year and forever unless a philanthropist comes along other than Caterpillar, a museum at the present, I will not support for many reasons and for goodness sakes whatever happened to the "world class" softball fields promised by the PPD (Noble and Noble)since 2003??
Kirk Wessler, seen any ground breaking at the corner of Fox Road and Rt. 91, supposedly 80 acres of park property that is still in the name of Bradley U.? Bradley paid $13,000 an acre about 4 years ago. Pretty expensive for farmland but of course us city folk subsidize farmland. THIS WWAS THE SWAP FOR MEINEN FIELD FOR A SOFTBALL WORLD CLASS COMPLEX and a full sized 80 acre Peoria Park District. What happened? What about the work planned for Peoria Stadium? Park Board members blame the delay on #150. Why not, they get blamed for everything else.
Why do librarians at Heights and Dunlap library complain that Peorians are using their libraries. I'm told by the same librarians that as public libraries that they can't restrict anyone from entering and using the facilities nor can anyone tell them anything because they are the bastions of free speech and free press. Filter computers? Yes, but some kids, and some adults, are smarter than librarians when it comes to things they can do the Internet. Shortage of library space? You haven't been listening to the right people. Librarians are also short of books, space, computers, help; that's one I'll agree on.
Librarians don't particularly want self-check-out machines because they want prefer face to face checkouts so they get to know their patrons better. That's okay but then don't complain you need more help. Librarians are running multi-million dollar businesses efficiency is what most patrons are seeking.
So are property tax payers.
Don't overlook the 1000 romance books on sale for $.25 at the Heights Library. I recently bought hardcover a Linda Fairstein and a like new Susanna Clarke hardcover, origanal list price $27.95, for $.25 at the Downtown Library.