As supporters, users and promoters of the Knoxville Public Library, we feel compelled to express our concern about the expansion plan recently announced. The library was offered two plans for enlarging the facility. We do not understand why the most expansive plan was chosen in light of the following facts, as we see them:
1. Knoxville is not a growing community. School enrollment is down and one school has closed.
2. We have entered into the new digital age and the future of libraries is questionable. We believe many changes will take place.
3. We have already seen the demise of large book stores, as people use the Internet instead of the stores.
4. Knoxville has many more needs, such as an outdoor swimming pool, new sidewalks and a new police station.
5. The average American family lost 40 percent of their net worth over the last five years, making contributions more difficult to acquire and City money is needed for recruiting new businesses to provide jobs.
6. Didn't we have a shortage of funds last year for operation of the library and have to cut back on the hours it is open? Won't enlarging mean more overhead for such things as utilities and more employees?
7. Relying on the federal government for grants is risky now, while our whole monetary system is threatening to collapse under our international debt!
In light of these facts, as we see them, we believe the more conservative plan best suits our needs and acknowledges the fact that the digital age is rapidly changing our resources.