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The WWPL has neither the staffing, the infrastructure or the culture to expand services to the Walla Walla Valley. It doesn't have courier, belongs to no resource sharing or cataloging consortia and struggles with technical training of suppport staff. Administratively, although the public library is considered a city department, the Library Director has little authority with considerable oversight provided by the City Council and City Manager and the employee union. The staff is small with one full-time and several part-time professionals. The WWPL Board has advisory status only - getting to make decisions on such things as the provision of coffee in the building. Having no branches or other outlets, the WWPL does not qualify as a central library. It maintains its own in-house operations with limitations inherant in this particular type of municiple government and unknown funding. There is really no comparison to be made in terms of duplication with the RLD personnel, partnerships, responsibilities, capacity, experience and skill sets. Even with a new building the District can be 'run' by a District Librarian, the Board and an Administrative Assistant.
The LWG should have come up with a plan for consolidation, I agree. If you look at the notes - there was no effort made to form a common vision - let alone with great glee figure out how to make it happen! The dueling budgets were not the far apart. A spread sheet was also drawn up that did consolidate administrative and technical services in one building - that made the revenue and expenditure streams very close.
Neighbors across the street can't use the same libraries because WWPL withdrew from WALNET & OCLC (local and national resource sharing and catalog consortiums) - not because a new library building will be built in the Valley.
If for some odd reason - the RLD decided to increase its operational cost by annexing the WWPL instead of building a new facility (apparently the road block for the City - we won't let you annex us if you build a new facility). Those annual maintenance 'savings' would simply continue to subsidize (not supplement) basic operations of the WWPL.
I believe annexation will happen - might have to happen for Waitsburg and College Place first. Unfortunately, the RLD has wasted time on the City for two years of 'yes we do no we don't' discussions and now must move forward with or without its blessings.
Last login: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
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