Let's Save the Riverside Library
We provided a space on our on-line petition for comments. We asked people to tell us what they like about Riverside and what they will miss if it closes. And, boy, are they ever!
Here is what they are saying ...
I like to use the computers here. I like to read the books, too.
I would like to save the Riverside Libary.
Jesse Ronnie V., grade 7
I just moved to Austin. Using the library's Internet access, I have done a job search, found organizations that interest me and printed out ACC schedule information. To lose the library would mean many people wouldn't have access to the most important resource they can have -- information -- for work, education, and pleasure.
Riverside Drive Library is a living example of the synergism of diverse peoples interacting in a positive, friendly, environment. That environment is important also. Constantly finding inovative and educational programs, Riverside has some of the most wide-ranging interest topics to be found in the city. From Internet (and training) to volunteer reading instruction, from puppets to The Pasada. You are as likely to find middle school students studying or researching, college students in a job-search, with middle-agers checking out the news media...and all of them using the computers. Closing Riverside is another example of penny-wise and pound-foolish. Save Riverside!
Paul M. Miller
I was very shocked to hear that the Riverside library location may soon close. If you do not already know, this library is very much used by many people both close by and far away. I myself work over by Highland Mall and even live way out in Buda, TX. I still choose to come here to the Riverside location. This facility is very, very convenient. The staff at this facility are always very warm and friendly and knowledgable. I always enjoy my visit when going to the library. I understand there are other locations, but there is just nothing like the Riverside location. I personally have tried some of the other locations but they just don't suit me in one way or the other whether it be because of parking or the location of these places. The Riverside location is best for me, I pray that you will earnestly seek God before making any hasty decisions and remember all the people you will be disappointing closing this facility. I sincerely hope that you take into consideration all the small children, elderly and those without vehicles that have been walking, bicycle riding or however they get here will no longer have the convenience that they currently have and many of the children will probably not be able to go to other facilities because of the distance. All in all please pray, before making your decision and let God guide you in the right direction.
Ronald R. Ortlieb
I would like to save the Riverside Libary.
I am a tax preparer who loves cars. I have been coming to Riverside Library for about 2 years and it has been really helpful to me to find auto repair manuals and tax guides. I live east [off of] Ben White and it is really convinient for me because it is close by.
The Riverside Branch Library is very important to the southeast Austin neighborhoods. It is the only branch library south of the river, east of IH 35, and north of Ben White. It serves a section of the city that has been historically neglected in many areas of city services. It is located on several bus lines, has plenty of parking available, and many services that are important to our area of the City. Circulation figures indicate that it is used by the neighbors and needed by the residents.
I have been a resident of Austin for 26 years and during that time I have read 5300 books most of them from the Riverside Branch library. I have been a member of the Mystery Book Club for most of its existence and have enjoyed the wide variety of speakers and programs. I live near the Riverside Branch and frequently stop in to check a reference or to read a magazine that has an item I an interested in. I do my grocery shopping in that area and the Riversie location is a real convenience to me. I would hate to see the Riverside Branch closed because it is needed in this area.
Norman G. Flaigg
Instead of opening a new homeless shelter let's open more librarys. In doing so the people of Austin can send out a message that literacy is the key to rehabilitation.
Samuel D. Brannon
This library branch is important to me due to several aspects.
Kenny J. Dee
Riverside branch is important to the edification of the many children that predominently are living in low income apartments. the things available for them are limited. I am part of a small group of home owners living in this area. Otherwise the apartment community is crowded in and this library is a welcomed place to escape. It's not fair to loose something that this community needs to most.
Much time and effort has been spent to provide Riverside with a collection that represents the diverse group of users that live in the neighborhood. And let's not forget the many people served by the Internet Training Center and the Victory Tutorial Program!
I really do not wish to see the Riverside Library closed. It is in a good place because it is easy for a lot of people to get to. Where will the local people go if they shut down this library?
I teach in the Austin schools. I know first-hand how much libraries mean to our kids, especially the ones who live here in our neighborhood. These are the children whose parents cannot afford to buy books at Barnes and Noble or Book People, but who need access to books desperately. More and more sevices for our less priveleged kids are vanishing, and we wonder why our prisons are so full. I also live in the East Riverside vicinity, and am unbelievably grateful to have a branch library so close to me. When I come home after a very long day at school, I know I have resources very close to me, and need not go that extra distance in rush hour traffic. Please think of our children (we always say we do, but often close our pocketbooks when called on for funding for them). Thanks, more than you know.
Where will the children go?
This is a very easy library to get to. It is quiet and has all the maaterials a peson needs to do any type of research paper. Please don't shut down the Riverside library.
Deanna and Larry Johnson
The Riverside Branch is home to many tutoring classes for both high school students and adult students. I've personally seen citizens here at the branch trying to both better themselves personally, educationally, and financially by taking advantage of all the programs offered by this particular branch. Many of these patrons walk or ride the bus to reach this destination and I believe that forcing them to move onto another location may be too time constraining to fit into their schedule.
Cecil Leo Torres
Nothing is more important than giving the kids in this neighborhood access to books. Most parents in the Riverside area do not have the resources to purchase books for their children. Riverside branch offers the world of literature to thousands who live within walking distance, and many others from other parts of town who come for the unique services our library offers. If it's difficult to pay the rent, then pass bonds to put a permanent facility here.
I volunteered as a tutor through the Victory Tutorial Program at the Riverside Library. Coming from Detroit, Michigan, another city where inner-city libaries are well-utilized, yet under-funded, I was very pleased to see that Riverside was always busy with people using the facilities. Most notably, the Job Center seemed to be a focal point, despite the recent cuts to its resources. The Riverside library is an important and useful part of the community and it would be a real diservice to the City of Austin if it were closed. Please keep this library open. Instead of shutting down this facility, let's investigate ways to locate a permanent space for it! Thank you.
Stacey Russell Booth
The FreeNet training facility, located at the Riverside branch, is an important support function for usage of the FreeNet terminals in every library facility.
For many communities our librarys serve as wellsprings -- as well as meeting places for our neighborhoods and groups. [Don't] take away the "positive places" from our citizens.
Louis Rene Barrera, President South River City Citizens
Riverside Library helped me find a job in 1992. I enjoy coming to the library and looking at the job boards.
Sean Alan Bridwell
I use the Riverside branch 2-4 times per month, to do various book searches, requestes, literature research, etc... It is convenient to ACC, SEMATECH, AMD and all the support companies in the vicinity. You have a large density of people in the vicinity, with the apartment housing, students housing, single family housing and businesses. It is right on the bus line. Because it is not open on Sunday -- I then use the Central branch, on Sunday. (But I would prefer going to Riverside.) The weekday hours are great -- I can go by Riverside after work.
This area needs a library. There is not another one close enough.
Donna J. Morrow
I usually stop by the Riverside Branch every work day on my way home to wait out the traffic and to catch up on Texas newspapers and on periodicals. The staff have always been very helpful. The library serves a diverse clientele in east Austin, a part of the city in need or the education, job search, and recreational opportunities which this library provides. Based on the numbers in the paper it has more use than some of the other libraries in east Austin.
Aaron Kim Ludeke
Truth and Freedom are inseparable. The written word is the tool with which we can solve problems to help save the world! Keep libraries alive! Help save the world!
Dear Council folks: You must be crazy! "Shut it down" was the war cry for the anti-nuke folks, not literate users of the Riverside branch. If you close Riverside, begin to pack your bags. Come election time you will be gone!
The Riverside branch is well-placed for the community using the facilities in the Riverside mall. Del Valle students and the student population utilize the branch because it is close enough to walk to.
Andrew R. Chappel
As a Jr. High teacher, I am adamantly interested and hopeful that the Riverside Branch will remain open. We need to send a message to our children that we value, as a society, the collection of research and writing. Without this message, students who do very little reading already will not be inspired to begin picking up books. Please consider the message you would be sending to these students when you consider keeping the Riverside Branch open.
Sharon D. Huisman
It is as important to support the neighborhoods in East Austin with a library. The people that live and work in that part of the city should be as important as the rest of the city.
I am new to Austin but closing this library in the South Eastern section Austin would indicate to me that the city council truly does not care about that section of town. The situation is too obvious to overlook.
I propose that instead of building new libraries in the suburban areas of Austin, the city should purchase a permanent library facility for this densely populated, historic section of town.
I work on the East side of Austin and have used the Riverside Library on several occasions during my lunch lunch hour. It was at this branch that I got my first Austin Public Library card. I would like to see Austin put more money into its branches. The downtown location is the best and each branch should be equally good. The downtown location is not as convenient and parking is impossible. I grew up using the Richardson public library in Richardson, Texas. It is an excellent example of what a library should be.
Closing the Riverside Library will not really save taxpayers' dollars in the overall scheme of things. What will save taxpayers' money is positive and wise leadership from elected officials.
I am a parent of three childen plus myself who visit the Riverside libary almost every other day. I am also a Teachers Assistant at Linder Elementary. The childen that I work with are always telling me about the great time they have and all the wonderful help they get on their homework through the tutoring department. I know that many of our childen at Linder really depend on this libary to get the help and support they need to succed in school. The most important thing of all is that this is also a place were they feel safe.
Barbara E. White
The Riverside library is more than a library. It's a nurturing place for kids and people who live in the vicinity who don't have transportation to broaden their horizons. I'm sure you'll agree with me that its far better to have kids trying to cultivate a reading habit and becoming book lovers than hang out in street corners and/or watch mind numbing MTV. People with low incomes are becoming Internet-aware because of the computer facilities and the very friendly and helpful staff. It will be a huge mistake to choke something so wonderful thats happening in our community. Please don't do it!!!!
Please do not close this library location. Our kids need it for their benefit. Not for the city to save a money. Think hard about this, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Juan M. Cisneros
This is a very accesible library to minorities in the south and the southeast corner of the city. We have a great tutorial service that helps disadvantaged children with school problems. This in turn aides against school failure and eventually school dropout. The library is also accesible to older adults in the Montopolis area that use the library for job training and references for other. This further gives them an opportunity to get out of the house and socialize with others and their community. The library is easily accesible due to it being in several bus lines, thus medically disabled patrons can also enjoy the services here. I hope that you would reconsider the library closure for the good of the neighborhood, city, and patrons.
Henry Z. Narvaez
Riverside is special because of the staff who go out of their way to help.
This branch is very important to me, because it's close and the staff goes out of the way to assist me in research and finding books that I'm looking for. It would be a shame to lose this facility.
Barry D. LaGue
We have lived in Central-South Austin for 33 years, and were delighted when the Riverside Library opened, even moreso when it moved to its current location. Over the years we have watched as our tax money went to build branch after branch library in the hinterlands, but this was a good thing. Libraries are good things, wherever they are. However, now they want to close OUR library. Riverside is handy for a large population, and is located in an activity hub with a movie theater and video rental store right there, and a supermarket within a 3 minute walk. Riverside's budget is a steal for the city. Cut back on services at other branches, or find more money, or do something, but don't close Riverside Library!!!
Owen & Judy Cappleman
Several years ago I was a UT student living and working off Riverside. The Riverside branch library was an invaluable resource to me in those days--many times, instead of driving to UT or taking a bus downtown, I chose to visit the branch library for information, or just to check out a book. If that library closes, the people in that area will have to choose between increased transportation needs or simply going without library resources. That's simply not a fair choice.
Greetings. Miss so many people in Austin, but did the right thing in moving nearer to my sons. That library is important to me for a few reasons, but mainly because the beautiful community it's in, and that it helped me to type some of my written works. Carver always was my favorite, but Riverside branch is vital. Call to the nearby waters, it can help you win.
Eric Fortmeyer, Sr.
This library has been a second home to me since I moved to Austin I not only check out books, I also read magazines and newspapers. pers. The library staff is very friendly and helpful. The library is also near the supermarket, the hair salon and the theaters. Please don't close it.
Linda K. Lin
Please keep our library open. Thank you!
I live in Querétaro, Mexico and I go to Austin very often due to the fact that it is close to the border. Riverside library has been a "must" everytime I go, for I find information which is always useful and difficult or impossible to obtain in my city. I have noted that the head librarian a special effort to have books which are up to date on many issues of Latin America. Why must you close this particular library which is working so well? I always visit other libraries in the US in other cities when I travel and, believe me, not a single one is as complete as Riverside. I am sure the city of Austin will make sure that this library remains open
Please keep the Riverside Library open, as it is a very resource center for job information as well as being this area's local library!!!
John R. Glass
I live within a few blocks of the library and enjoy being able to drop in to the library on my way to shop or when I want to look up a fact or figure.
I also appreciate the work done by the tutorial program at the library and wonder what will happen to the children that are benefitting from those lessons.
Victoria J. McGuire
Cutting funding for libraries is short sighted and less than should be expected of our city's leaders. Yes, the budget is always tight and the libraries are always looked to to save funds. However, the libraries are an inappropriate way to save money and the money saved from cutting them and their programs is negligible. Money spent on the library programs in this well educated and forward looking city is money well spent and deserved by the people of Austin. Funding for the Riverside Library should be found and the city should not try to balance it's budget based on important, necessary and needed programs like the libraries.
The location of this branch is a vital part of our neighborhood. It is the only branch located in this area. I hope the City Council considers the ramifications of this action, especially after approving the opening of a new branch in Southwest Austin.
This library is in a great location for many of the people that live in the East Central Austin. It provides services and resource for many children that live in the area and volunteer tutors are able to use this location. Also I have a number of co-workers that like to run to the library during their lunch time because the location is so convenient to them since they work near Montopolis and Oltorf. Keep this location open. It is a small library, but it provides great services and there are many people that will be impacted if this facility is closed.
When I didn't have a car or very much money to buy books, I was able to go to the Library which was relatively near my home (3 miles) and read. This activity kept my mind active and kept me from getting depressed which I might have otherwise. There are always children at the Library and I think they would suffer greatly if the Library left. The price of books is soaring, combined with a marked decrease in the quality of education (perhaps because Texas treats their teachers so badly; 38th in the US for pay and 50th for benefits) there is little opportunity for children to educate themselves. Of all things to close, to close a library would be a travesty showing the depth of American callousness, barabarism and willingness to perpetuate ignorance and sloth.
If you must cut back to save money, why not make small cuts across the board (all the branches), instead of making the Riverside branch take the entire hit? I live in NW Austin and don't visit the Riverside branch, but I am a teacher/counselor and believe all the people of Austin deserve equal access to library facilities. Keep the Riverside Branch Library open!
I think that this is a very easy location and it is necessary to have the resources available to the rest of the public. I feel that the space here at this site is safe, and easy to find. I especially find that the staff is always available for any questions that I may . It is needed and that should be the main reason this site should be left intact! Keep up wha the community needs not what the "big city wigs" want! The community is what comes first!
Please do not close the Riverside library. As I live close by and for many other regular readers, it is very unfair to close it down. It will a great help for many regular readers if the city council decided against [closing] it.
Futurists tell us that we are becoming an information and knowledge society. Librarys provide public access to those kinds of knowledge and information. If knowledge is power, as they say, whose interests are served by this disempowering of our community?
This is a growing area -- many new college students and young families. We need to emhasize reading and the use of libraries, not close what exists because this one happens to be in East Austin. We deserve a library, too.
All libraries are important. I am an avid reader and the convience of the Riverside branch allows me to quickly stop by after I shop for groceries or pick up a video. The staff is always curteous and very helpful. My 7 year old really enjoys the activities that they have for children. As a single mother of 2, convience is very important to me. My 14 year old son can walk to the library in about 10 minutes. This close proximity eases my mind over his safety and allows him easy access to proper materials to complete his school assignments. I don't often spend a lot of time at the library, but I am extremly grateful that the Riverside branch has been availble on the many occasions I've only had time to run in and out.
Phyllis M. Tennie
Libraries are a highly valuable resource, especially for low-income people, families, and the elderly. They can be used to augment learning and other social services. Libraries improve a neighborhood's well-being by acting as safe community centers and encouraging citizens to be literate, informed, and entertained. The City should be adding to its library services, not subtracting.
As a former English teacher with AISD, I can assure you that students need easy access to neighborhood library facilities. Riverside Library fills a need in its location. Leave it there.
As a recent resident of the Riverside area, I find its convenient location to be beneficial. I come from the "liberal North" and if there is one thing I hope the people of Austin will learn from liberal teachings is not compromise educational resources at the expense of the urban populace.
If the library is not fulfilling its duties, let's institute more programs for the community to get involved, such as voluneer "read-ins" or other supportive programs. This neighborhood is economically disadvantaged and neglected by the city due to its student and hispanic constituancy, which makes this library all the more valuable. It would be a shame to deny an easy access to an education to a population which needs it the most.
Daniel K. Hickey
I just moved to Austin from Philadelphia, PA. My last job in Philadelphia was developing computer clubs for children and adults in inner-city library branches.
I have seen how a library can make a difference to children and their families. A library is, in some places, the only place where children can do their homework, and adults can read newspapers or magazines that they may not able to buy.
Because a library does not show an important circulation it does not mean that people do not use it at all.
Also, it is possible that people do not use all the resources at a library because the librarians do not know the community or do not do anything to work closer to it.
Librarians should go to schools a community organizations to promote library facilities.
It is always sad seeing a library closing. I hope the city does not close the Riverside Drive Branch Library.
This proposed closure is a symptom of a wider disease within the City. Every year, more citizens pay more taxes and the budget for city services goes down. For my money, paying off electric bonds is at the bottom of a long list of things to use tax money for. At the top are libraries, parks, health care for the poor, and street repair. Instead we get convention centers, tax breaks for big companies, and raises for the City Manager.
John G. Doty
The Riverside library is one of my favorite branches -- easy to get to, friendly, with a good collection of resources. I think it's appalling that the city would consider shutting down this library, which is in an underserved area, when beautiful new branches are being built in areas that need them far less. Please stop neglecting East Austin this way!