Joan DeFinis–Wellesley Townsman February 25, 2016
The Wellesley Free Library (WFL) is one of our brightest gems! It has been skillfully managed and enhanced over time and offers a state of the art library experience for all ages and interests. In FY 2015 the WFL reported 371,568 people walked through the doors; each with an individual reason for visiting the Library.
This impressive statistic reflects the multi-faceted community experience offered by the WFL: the joy of toddler story time, the wonder of local artists’ creativity, the relief of a piano recital, and the comfort of a peaceful space for digesting the news of the day or researching a job search. The WFL community has developed because of decentralized management and the proposal to change our form of town government endangers it.
Proponents of the measure to move to a Town Manager style of government argue that it will increase uniformity and streamline the town’s departments and boards. Consequently, they argue, there will be fewer meetings and shorter meetings (perhaps). For every gain there is a loss, however. What is Wellesley in danger of losing? The elected board that governs the library is led by passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable constituents. Who understands the issues facing our library better than the library trustees and staff? If the proposal succeeds, our library will no longer be able to decide its future on the basis of its own expertise, but will be subject to the unpredictable town-wide priorities and competing interests confronting a Town Manager. Is it really worth losing proven, service-specific expertise for a reduction in meeting time?
The Wellesley Free Library is not broken, so let’s NOT try to fix it!
Joan M. DeFinis