So, wow. That was something.
After being on pins and needles about what the Board would do regarding the Branches, last night felt pretty good. Thank you to all who came out, and to those who spoke on behalf of the libraries, with special thanks to Kingsley first-grader Leila Cornyn, who stole the show in her continued efforts for the library (Leila was previously our top Read a Thon earner), and also to former Evanston North Branch patron, artist, and best-selling author Audrey Niffenegger, who also spoke to the Board on behalf of Branch preservation, calling them, essentially, an extension of our schools. Which seems ironic then, that the only vote opposing support in the 7 to 1 vote, was by D65 Superintendent Hardy Murphy’s wife, Lynette.
We are also incredibly grateful to Gaylon Emerzian of Evanston’s Trillium Productions for her moving video documentary about Evanston’s West side and what library services mean. Gaylon also recently produced a similar video depicting South Branch, and those videos will both be up soon on our website.
In the end, the Board voted to pass a budget restoring branch operations to previous service levels without sacrificing hours at the Main. The collections budget will need a shot in the arm, but it seemed a wise decision not to ask for too much. As Trustee Susan Stone clarified, this isn’t asking for more, it’s simply re-instating what was previously in place. And as my dad is fond of saying, “the pig gets fat, but the hog gets slaughtered.” Better not to ask for too much.
All in all, a good evening — right up to the minute I got two moving violations on the way home as I pulled out of the Library parking lot. I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist (ok, I am) but really, I’ve gotten 4 tickets in one month since I put the EPLFriends magnet on the back of my car…
I’m just sayin’.