Back in July 2009, the Providence Public Library (PPL) agreed to hand over nine neighborhood libraries to the Providence Community Library (PCL), and the transition thusfar has been very successful. There’s just one problem: the PPL still owns seven of the nine library buildings.
The PPL won’t do any structural repairs on the buildings, and the PCL can’t apply for grants to do repairs because they’re not actually the landlords. (Several of the libraries are on the National Historic Register, so government grants are available.)
The Smith Hill and Knight Memorial Libraries were seemingly closed more than they were open this summer because they don’t have air conditioning. The Olneyville Library’s got water in the basement and an air quality problem. And Smith Hill and Wanskuck have leaky roofs.
When the libraries were transferred, the PPL agreed to hand the library buildings over to the city, but they have yet to actually do so. And without available grant money, the buildings are just going to get worse.
The Friends groups affiliated with each library are holding a series of informational meetings over the next couple of weeks, in order to talk about what can be done for PPL to transfer the buildings (like they said they would.)
Smith Hill Library (31 Candace Street), tonight, from 5 to 6 p.m.
Wanskuck Library (233 Veazie Street), October 21, 6:00 p.m.
Mount Pleasant Library (315 Academy Avenue), October 25, at 7 p.m.
Fox Point Library (90 Ives Street), October 26, at 6:00 p.m.
Knight Memorial Library (275 Elmwood Avenue), October 27, 6:00 p.m.
Rochambeau Library (708 Hope Street), November 1, 7:00