When members of the Gladwyne community met Wednesday night for a meeting about the proposed accessibility renovations to the Gladwyne Free Library, almost everyone agreed that they love the library.
And that’s where the agreements seemed to end.
In a spirited discussion, a majority of the people who spoke at the meeting, which included new sketches of the proposed addition that would house an elevator, said they wanted alternatives to making the library accessible.
Currently the library’s board is in negotiations with Lower Merion Township over an agreement that the township would pay for renovations to the privately-owned building.
That was a point of contention as well at the meeting.
Gladwyne Civic Association president Bob Foulk Jr. said he is in favor of the library being accessible to everyone, but has “serious reservations about using public monies on a private building.”
The budget for the project, soup to nuts, is $1.5 million. It includes adding an elevator, an ADA-approved bathroom, a new young adult section and rearranging the employee’s work area.
The majority of comments from the crowd centered on the cost of the project, the tax monies that would be used for it, and an apparent lack of alternatives proposed for the project.
But even the main purpose of the library itself got caught in the fight, as a few people mentioned that they now use e-readers.
“In five years, you’re not going to read all those books,” said a woman who declined to give her name to Bryn Mawr Patch.
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