In a letter to The Roslyn News on Jan. 22 ("Library Is Underutilized"), Mr. Duncan MacIntosh asserts that the Bryant Library is "mostly empty most of the time." As the Director of Bryant Library for the past 13 years, I must, with all due respect, tell your readers that Mr. MacIntosh's assertion is categorically mistaken. It is potentially misleading to a community that has been provided carefully developed research and analysis of the library's needs and community's demands.
In fact, as Mr. MacIntosh apparently did not recall from the presentation he attended on Nov. 12 (not Nov. 19, as he indicated), ample time was spent demonstrating the manner in which our community uses the library. Figures of library use are accumulated daily throughout the year. We showed our community that we have reached all-time highs in circulation and program use through continued growth. But it is not only the daily use statistics that tell us we continue to grow. Surveys conducted as recently as this past December indicate that our community is asking for more from its library, and that they expect us to fulfill our mission by addressing improvement and expansion to meet their needs. This is not to suggest that Roslyn residents' financial support is a foregone conclusion. It is meant to refute the implication that our library has somehow, in the eyes of its community, become irrelevant.
Mr. MacIntosh makes several other points in his letter that I would encourage him to discuss with me personally, especially in the areas of staffing, Young Adult services, and cost savings. Though I understand he is trying to support his argument in opposition to this plan, the facts that I have presented as a professional librarian are easily substantiated, as they were on Nov. 12, and I would be happy to share even more detail with him at his convenience.
His letter concludes with, "Let's not waste $15 plus million and get nothing in return." I can only respond by saying that countless community residents, our staff, and our Board of Trustees have spent much time during the last several years developing a plan that offers our community great value. We believe that this plan is a careful reflection of what our community consistently asks for, and what the historic Bryant Library requires to serve its patrons in the best possible way.
Director, Bryant Library
P.S.: The Bryant Library closed at 5 p.m. on Nov. 26. This was Thanksgiving Eve, when Mr. MacIntosh documents two people seated in the library at 7:36 p.m.