Link to November 9 Appleton Post-Crescent, "Reader Reaction Forum: Should Appleton build a new public library?"
Excerpts: (As you would expect with such a big-ticket project -- good economic times or bad -- there is no unanimity of opinion.)
Letter#1: A public library is a necessity.
Letter #2. I would suggest that, rather than build a new expanded library, a branch library would be a better choice. One location that would make perfect sense is in the vicinity of Ballard Road and Northland Avenue; another might be around College and Wisconsin avenues.
Letter #3. Worth doing? Too many unanswered questions to say.
Letter #4. GOOD INVESTMENT: Nothing beats going to the library, searching for that special book — a mystery by your favorite author, a resource that you need for a project, a fun book to read to your child.
Letter #5. DUBIOUS: It always excites me when politicians look at removing a block of tax-paying properties and replacing them with a public-operated, non-tax-generating structure.
Letter #6. NEED OR WANT? My daughter's teacher sent a note home last week, describing their new social studies unit on needs vs. wants. I asked my 6-year-old if she knew the difference.
Letter #7. Once again, I say, spend our tax money as if it were coming out of your own pockets and see if you still need a new library.
Letter #8: I mourned when the old library was torn down (despite the never-ending steps), but when my kids and I walked into the present library, it was just magical. It's a beautiful building, an imagination sanctuary, and as any library, the true "windows" to the world. As to bigger, newer and a better showcase, I'd have to say what any old library lady would: 'Sssshhhhhh!'
Letter #9: This appears to me to be another attempt at the prestige thing, i.e. the PAC. Why not fill up some of the empty strip mall stores with "neighborhood library" computer kiosks as a wiser use of the money?