The East Boston Branch Library in Orient Heights has received a reprieve from the City of Boston.
Our branch library and three others scheduled to close because of the budget shortfall and the changing times lives to fight another day – and apparently will do so for the length of the summer and probably into the fall.
This is a great victory for the residents and friends of the library who fought so hard to reverse the ultimate decision made some weeks ago.
Everyone involved in the effort to keep the doors open to the Orient Heights branch has learned a valuable lesson – that when the people speak up boldly the city listens and tends to do the right thing.
What to do now?
Every effort must be made for library supporters to show the way to the city about how the branch libraries can remain open and relevant given the shortfall of cash the Boston Public Library system is facing.
Now is the time to act to redo hours of operation, staffing, and the kind of cutbacks that are necessary for the library to remain open without the chance the city will close it.
Obviously, the open branch library in East Boston remains a tremendous neighborhood asset for those who use it.
There needs to be a private fundraising effort to reduce the running costs for the Orient Heights branch.
Certainly a thorough search for grant money and donations from charitable foundations could lead to a great sum of money being raised to put against the deficit that would cause the Orient Heights branch to close.
Along with the money raising effort there must be a total restructuring of the Orient Heights branch library model to ensure that it faces a new future instead of a dismal end.
After all, knowledge is power.