Arlington, VA

Update on 6/18 — The proposal to move the library has been withdrawn.

County leaders got an earful about the proposed relocation of the Columbia Pike Branch Library at a town hall meeting last night.

“An angry standing room crowd” holding “signs and banners” loudly engaged library and county officials at the Arlington Career Center, a resident who attended the meeting tells us.

Career Center and Patrick Henry Elementary School students were among those speaking out against the move. Officials in attendance included new County Manager Michael Brown and Library Director Diane Kresh.

The proposal to move the library from Walter Reed Drive to Arlington Mill Drive, further down Columbia Pike, has attracted a torrent of criticism from those who live near the library. One post about the move on the Arlington Library Blog has attracted more than 100 comments, most of them negative.

Deputy County Manager Marsha Allgeier, who also attended the town hall, had this to say about the meeting:

Last night’s meeting was productive. We will continue this conversation with the community on whether it makes sense to move the Columbia Pike Branch library from its current location on Walter Reed Drive to the Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike. Staff will continue to listen to the community until the County Manager feels he can make a recommendation to the Board. The decision on the design of Arlington Mill can be made without a final decision on whether the library branch should be moved. We will take as much time as needed to make a good recommendation to the Board on the future of the branch library, a library meant to serve all of Columbia Pike.

The Sun Gazette reports that change-of-government supporters took advantage of the public anger and gathered “several dozen” petition signatures outside the Career Center.

Photo via the Library Blog.

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