BPL task force yields meeting to Lower Mills closure foes

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
May. 25, 2010

Supporters of the Lower Mills branch library on Monday night pushed back against the forming of a Boston Public Library task force to handle “transitioning of services” as the City Council weighs Mayor Thomas Menino’s proposal to close the Richmond St. building.

Some of the sharpest criticism, directed at Boston Public Library officials who had gathered the task force at Caritas Carney Hospital, came from state Sen. Jack Hart. “I think we’re heading in the wrong direction here,” said Hart, a South Boston Democrat.

With nearly three dozen people in the room, almost all opposed to the closure of the library, the representatives from the Boston Public Library abandoned the planned agenda for the evening.

“The agenda is nice,” Michael Skillin, the head of the Lower Mills Civic Association told BPL officials. “The folks down here are not interested in the agenda.”

Koren Stembridge, the BPL’s chief director of partnerships, said the task force meeting was not an attempt to stop efforts to save the library. She said library officials wanted to have a contingency plan in place in case the library does close, and to set up partnerships for programs at nearby organizations and buildings, such as the Pope John Paul II Academy campus across the street from the Lower Mills library.

The City Council is holding a hearing on the Boston Public Library’s budget on June 3 at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Developing story.