Library Saga, Part 2

You can’t beat City Hall, but you can sometimes force a reconsideration. I wrote a few days ago about the Schenectady County Legislature, which had strong-armed the county library into a foolish, over-priced, time-consuming renovation project. The local paper ran editorials — including an op-ed of mine — and a constant flow of letters to the editor, all in opposition. And Saturday, just as if that had been their plan all the time, the Legislature announced it will

solicit additional bid requests for revised construction plans, with the hope that the alternatives will cost less than the current $7.7 million plan, tackle many of the same overdue updating priorities and close the library for considerably less than the 10 to 12 months forecast.

The library does not need a coffee shop, which was part of the original plan but now may be eliminated. It also does not need a drive-through window, also now expendable. And it should not need to be closed for a year and a half. (The forecast in the above quote is what we like to call a “modified” factor, as in, “We didn’t really say it would take a year and a half, we only put that number out in case of contingencies.”)

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