Kevin Moriarty 0

Stop the Zombie Libraries

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April 27, 2012 WHEREAS, in the Fall of 2010, the four neighborhood Branches of the Trenton Free Public Library closed their doors and ceased operations as the result of budgetary problems in the City of Trenton that caused a reduction in financial support to the Library from the City: and WHEREAS, the four Branches – Briggs, Cadwalader, East Trenton, and Skelton – were valued as invaluable irreplaceable assets in the cultural, educational and recreational life of all Trentonians, children and adults; and WHEREAS, it has been since the Fall of 2010 the desire of the People of the City of Trenton to re-open these closed Branches under the use and control of the Trenton Free Public Library, as described and regulated under Chapter 40:54 of the Statutes of the State of New Jersey; and WHEREAS, the City of Trenton has announced that the Skelton and Briggs Library will re-open on April 30 as branches of entities called “The Mayor’s Learning Center Libraries;” and WHEREAS, the City’s plans have been designed with no participation nor approvals from: the management and Trustees of the Free Public Library, Trenton City Council, the State Librarian, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, nor have any presentations or plans been made available to the People of the City of Trenton to establish the City’s reasons for bypassing and ignoring the authorized structures and laws governing Free Public Libraries in the State of New Jersey, nor have any expenditures on behalf of these Libraries been authorized by City Council as required by law; and WHEREAS, it is not known by the Public or City Council who will be staffing the Branches during their hours of operation, their qualifications, background, experience, or salaries; and WHEREAS, the City of Trenton has publicly called for Volunteers to work in these Branches, without describing the duties of Volunteers, or whether such Volunteers will be subject to Background Checks and/or Drug Testing before being placed in proximity with the Children of the City of Trenton; and WHEREAS, the existing collection of materials in these branches – books, furniture, computer equipment, etc. – that have remained in the buildings since their closure remain the property of the Trenton Free Public Library, and no authorization has been sought or granted by the Trustees for their use; THEREFORE, the Undersigned Citizens of the City of Trenton and friends of the Trenton Free Public Library declare the “Mayor’s Learning Center Libraries” to be illicit, illegitimate and bogus “Zombie Libraries.” We call on an immediate halt to all plans and actions on behalf of these “Learning Center Libraries” unless and until all procedures and processes have been followed as required by the laws of the City of Trenton and the State of New Jersey. FURTHER, the Undersigned declare their support for the re-opening of the Branches under the Use and Control of the Trenton Free Public Library as early as can be feasibly possible.

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