American Library Association Urges Town Council to Support New Facility for Narragansett’s Library
The oldest and largest library association in the world, the American Library Association, has written a letter urging the Narragansett Town Council to support a new facility for the currently at capacity Maury Loontjens Memorial Library. From the American Library Association’s letter:
We are writing to express our full support for the librarians, staff and trustees of Maury Loontjens Memorial Library (MLML), and to urge the Council to honor the authority of the library’s governing board and the outcome of a 2016 referendum on a bond for a new library, as you work in partnership to develop a library facility that reflects the needs and wishes of Narragansett residents . . .
Overwhelming passage of a 2016 referendum that specified the purchase and renovation of a new MLML building highlights the community’s support for expanded and improved library services. This support is amplified by the generosity of private donors who have pledged significant funds towards the project. The current MLML facility does not serve all members of the community. It offers only one-third of the prescribed square footage, and the administration has had to seek waivers from the Rhode Island State Library due to accessibility limitations and lack of safety compliance. Plans for a new facility must address those constraints to ensure that the library can serve everyone and remain eligible for both capital investment and ongoing operations funding from the state.
“The Love Your Library Coalition deeply appreciates the support of the American Library Association in our efforts to convince the Town Council to follow the will of Narragansett voters by allowing our wonderful library to move into a modern new space in the Pier Marketplace,” said Nancy DeNuccio, President of the Love Your Library Coalition. “This letter comes, appropriately, as we are celebrating National Library Week 2019. This year’s theme is ‘Libraries = Strong Communities’ and we couldn’t agree more. That’s why it's time to put petty politics aside and get this critical project for our community done.”