What would Marian the Librarian say?
The Providence Public Library just put out a press release responding to the city’s lawsuit against it – first reported by WPRI.com – over the condition of the city’s library branch buildings. The money quote for me is this one:
The Library and City are currently operating under a lease agreement that waives rent at the seven Library-owned branch buildings for two years. The Library has been trying to negotiate with the City for the fair use or conveyance of the buildings. However, despite the Library’s repeated offerings of flexible terms, including a phased-in transfer, the City has had one position — it demands the Library hand over outright with no compensation these valuable assets. (emphasis in original)
When the Library refused, Providence Mayor David Cicilline, like a petulant child who doesn’t get his way, retained Democratic contributor Jack McConnell to file a baseless harassing lawsuit against the Library. (emphasis mine)
For those who’ve forgotten, the Providence Public Library is the private nonprofit that ran the branches with taxpayer support until last year; it still operates the Central Branch on Empire Street. The Providence Community Library is the new organization that took over management of the branches (and the taxpayer subsidy) last year. And the City of Providence is, well, the city government.