Alice Swift: In support of Jones project

Thursday, April 29, 2021

I strongly support a new, enlarged and renovated Jones Library, which would be accessible and inviting to people of all ages and backgrounds. I’m concerned that the petition will delay the project and make it cost more.

Public hearings as well as the vote by the Council demonstrated overwhelming support for the project. Large contributions have been made specifically for the renovation which may not be available for just repairs. It’s unclear to me whether the delay jeopardizes our state grant. With those contributions and the state grant the cost of renovation is not significantly more than just repairs.

We must recognize the populations served by the library — those who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs, those with limited eyesight, immigrants studying to become citizens, parents of young children, and low-income residents. They would all benefit from the new library with more space for teen-agers, computers, ESL programs and children’s rooms on one floor. Wouldn’t we all appreciate having restrooms just down a hallway, not downstairs and hidden away?

I’m sure that whatever we build will be like-new, attractive, and satisfactory in the short run. But if we are spending money to renovate our library, let’s do it right. The new building will give us an environmentally superior building with much-needed space as well as more comfort. Let’s not delay any longer.

Alice Swift