AUSTIN, Texas — The American Library and Museum Association has long opposed new public libraries, but now, as the Austin Public Library’s new building begins construction, the organization is turning against the project.
AARP President David Harris told BuzzFeed News that the new library in town is a “public housing project” that “will hurt our community.”
“We’re not just talking about a library here,” Harris said.
“We’re talking about the community that we are trying to build.
We’re talking to the people of this city, and we’re talking a lot about the issues of the future of the city.
And this library is just a continuation of that.
And it’s a public housing project that will hurt our city.”
The AARP does not support any new public housing projects, including one in Austin, which will be built on top of the existing library.
Harris said he has been working with the city and its planning department for months to avoid the building’s completion.
“The people of Austin want a new public building.
They don’t want to live in a housing project,” Harris told Buzzfeed News.
“And the fact is, we need to get a library to provide the things that people want and need.”
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, AARP spokesperson Amy Young said that “a public library is a great way for people to access libraries.
The AARP strongly supports public libraries and encourages cities and counties to create more libraries.”
In its letter, AAPL also criticized the city’s proposal for an outdoor library, saying it is “likely to be more expensive than a public library, will create more traffic congestion and cause traffic to be diverted from sidewalks.”AARP also pointed out that it would create traffic congestion for residents and businesses along the downtown core.AAPL’s letter to the city of Austin says the new building will be the city “most visible public library” in Austin and that the AARP “strongly supports the continued expansion of public libraries in our communities.”
In addition to Harris and Young, other prominent voices against the new AARP building include the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Austin Tea Party Patriots (ATP), and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
Other prominent figures in Austin are also against the AARP’s criticism of the new project.
“It’s really unfortunate that the American Public Library Association has taken this position,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler told BuzzFeed News.
He added that the organization “does not have the resources to support public libraries like they have public transit systems.”
Austin Mayor Steve ADLER says Austin will “never be a better place” if it can’t build a new library.
source BuzzFeed News article