The final results of a survey conducted by the Federation of Friends in June, 2006 are now available. All registered candidates for mayor and council positions received surveys by postal mail on May 15, 2006 and were given until June 15 to return their responses. The responses are provided below. In addition to the HTML format presented below, there is also a multi-sheet Microsoft Excel file available.
If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Federation President Richard Huffine at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Hill, chair of the Board of Library Trustees, informed the Federation late Wednesday that we were no longer invited to sit at the dais during Board of Library Trustees meetings. Mr. Hill stated that his intention was to allow the Chief Librarian to have a separate yet strong relationship with the Friends instead of the perception that the relationship of the Friends is primarily with the Board. He was informed that the governing documents for the Board still has the Federation President as an ex-officio member and that the Board would need to change those documents if they want this change to be permanent.
While the aim of a strong relationship between the Federation and the Director is admirable, the actions that have been taken are not justified. The Federation has a non-voting member on the Board of Trustees so that the community has a direct voice in the discussion of policies. This does nothing to weaken the potential relationship between the Federation and the Chief Librarian. At the meeting, Mr. Hill was strongly encouraged to rethink his actions and the Federation pledged to be ready and willing to discuss a resolution of this issue with the Board.
At the DC Council’s June 20 legislative meeting, Councilmember Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3) successfully moved an amendment to provide the D.C. Public Library (DCPL) system with $740,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2006 reserve funding to begin a summertime, “fix-it-now” initiative for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library and the branch libraries.
Patterson, who chairs the Council’s Committee on Education, Libraries, and Recreation initially proposed the fix-it-now initiative during a February 25, 2006, “listening session” held at Northeast Library by the Mayor’s Blue-Ribbon Task Force on the D.C. Public Library. Patterson urged Mayor Williams to appropriate funds for the fix-it-now initiative, noting residents’ demands for immediate, tangible improvements in library services and facilities. In a March 21, 2006, news release, Mayor Williams pledged to allocate “$5 million during the current year to spruce up branch libraries.” His spending plan for the reserve funds, however, did not include library funding.
“The funding approved today is the first part of an immediate effort to improve the dismal conditions at our libraries,” Patterson stated. “This funding can be used to correct some of the most egregious hazards and eyesores.” Modeled on a successful “Ready Schools” initiative implemented at the D.C. Public Schools last summer, the libraries’ fix-it-now initiative will involve electrical upgrades, plaster wall repairs and refinishing, bathroom improvements, door and window repairs and replacements, carpet replacements, and painting.
Patterson has asked Mayor Williams to re-allocate funds to provide additional money for the fix-it-now initiative consistent with his March commitment. In a June 16, 2006 letter to Patterson, City Administrator Robert Bobb stated that, “I commit to identifying funds (for the fix-it-now initiative) during FY 2006 from capital projects that are on pace to underspend their FY 2006 budget authority.” “It is my hope and expectation that this $740,000 appropriation is only the first installment of funding for the fix-it-now initiative,” Patterson stated.
“The FY 2007 budget also includes an additional $2.75 million funding enhancement for facility improvements, so I am optimistic about the prospects for significant gains in the condition of our libraries.”