The South Community Library has served La Crosse at nominal expense for my entire life and was the first library I ever used as a child. Like Mayor Tim Kabat, I’m baffled by the recommendation of the library board to close it.
Library director Kelly Krieg-Sigman appears to be undermining Kabat’s campaign promise to support and revitalize neighborhoods. We should fix this budget shortfall with a sharp budgetary knife, not a chain saw.
By all accounts, this branch acts as much more than a warehouse for books. It serves the community with numerous functions that are the essence of strong and healthy neighborhoods.
One would expect that Krieg-Sigman would volunteer to reduce her salary if this branch were closed as her duties would be diminished. All employees of this branch are part-time, costing the city very little to staff.
I cannot conceive why Krieg-Sigman would suggest such a crude method for saving a few dollars when balanced against the magnitude of established and ongoing services and programs supported by this branch.
This is a worthy library accessible to numerous South Side neighborhoods, and is accessible, especially children, in ways the main branch cannot be.
But the south branch is so much more than a library. Just what would be a higher function and use for this property? I suppose we could use the back lot to burn all those unnecessary books.