Cherrydale Branch Library
Serving North Arlington since 1922
County Board Candidates Discuss Cherrydale Library
In July 2007, the neighborhood volunteer group, Citizens for Cherrydale Library (CCL), conducted its usual
pre-election query of each candidate for County Board. The CCL provided these answers to the Arlington
Sun Gazette and the Cherrydale Sweet & Sour News. The CCL also promised to post each candidate's
answers on the Cherrydale and Maywood neighborhood list-serves.
1. Do you support maintaining the current funding level of the Arlington County Department of Libraries?
2. What are your views on concentrating the County's library system in a smaller number of locations as opposed to maintaining
the network of neighborhood libraries?
- Mary Hynes: I do support maintaining the current level of funding of the Arlington County Department of
Libraries and, if resources allow, would support increased funding for the Department. I would also hope that the
Department of Libraries staff would, by finding efficiencies, be able to expand services within existing funding l
evels. In an information age and especially in a community that values information, our libraries are a vital resource
for the all of us. At a time when access to information on the Internet is increasingly vital for so many business
and personal purposes, our libraries play an essential role in closing the digital divide. In Arlington, everyone may
not want or be able to afford their own computer and Internet service, but through our libraries, itís important that
we ensure all Arlingtonians have easy access.
- Mike McMenamin: Absolutely! In fact, I will ensure that future libraries are built on time and on budget.
Residents of the county have waited too long for new libraries to be built, such as Shirlington and Westover.
- Josh Ruebner: Yes.
- Walter Tejada: I believe that libraries are an essential part of our community. For many Arlingtonians,
especially children, they are a critical place to learn. Together with our schools, libraries are a basic educational
resource for neighborhood residents. Therefore, we must ensure that we protect library services.
The County's FY 2008 budget, which I recently voted for, contained an increase of more than $200,000 in library funds
over 2007 expenditures, which in turn represented an increase of over $700,000 from the 2006 budget. Community support
for libraries continues to be high. While I am always on the lookout for ways to make our government more efficient,
I am not willing to do so at the expense of essential County services like libraries. Therefore, I will likely continue
to support strong funding of our library system.
- Joseph Warren: I do support the current funding level for the Dept. of Libraries.
3. As a member of the County Board, will you seek to close Cherrydale Library?
- Mary Hynes: Neighborhood libraries like neighborhood schools contribute tremendously to the quality of life
of nearby residents. They facilitate easy access to the world of information for so many Arlingtonians, from our youngest
who visit to hear stories read aloud, to our elderly neighbors for whom a neighborhood library conveniently offers the
latest books, magazines and books-on-tape. In a community like ours, which is working to increase walking and reduce
emissions associated with unnecessary driving, neighborhood libraries make so much sense.
- Mike McMenamin: Neighborhood libraries are an important part of the community. Community activities occur
at neighborhood libraries, such as book clubs and children's reading events. These libraries are utilized by the community
and should remain.
- Josh Ruebner: I support maintaining a mix of larger libraries with a network of smaller neighborhood
- Walter Tejada: As pledged when first elected in 2003, I continue to support maintaining the network of
neighborhood libraries. Preserving the character of existing neighborhoods is one of my central goals, and local libraries
are unquestionably a part of that character.
Neighborhood branches also make sense from a user's standpoint. Their manageable size is less intimidating and creates
a more welcoming environment. A neighborhood librarian is more likely to get to know individual patrons and be able to
help them find reading material or give them reference help. Neighborhood libraries are close to home and, because of
their size, are usually easier for residents to use. They are especially valuable for children, teenagers and others
who can't drive.
Even for the rest of us, having many convenient neighborhood library locations encourages walking and helps keep us
out of our cars.
With a strong inter-library loan program and with increased use of virtual library (including e-books and electronic
information databases for homework, business and education), we can make our neighborhood libraries even stronger.
- Joseph Warren: Neighborhood libraries are important in a community. The local libraries don't need to
offer the full services that the central library does. These services, such as many computers for public use, are
expensive and should be concentrated at the main library. But for those who simply want to read newspapers and magazines
or do limited research, local libraries do this very well. I have often gone to the former small library in Shirlington
just to read several newspapers and used magazines such as Consumer Reports for research.
- Mary Hynes: No. In recent years, the County Board has been asked this question several times. Each time,
Board Members have decided to keep Cherrydale Library open. Except in extraordinary circumstances, I see no reason
why my position would differ.
- Mike McMenamin: No. As a long time Cherrydale and Maywood resident, my family has used the library on many
occasions, and so do most of my neighbors. It, like other neighborhood libraries, is an important resource for adults
and children alike.
- Josh Ruebner: As a member of the County Board, I would work to ensure that Cherrydale and all other
neighborhood libraries remain open.
- Walter Tejada: Absolutely not. The library provides essential services and is a part of Cherrydale's
neighborhood character. It should remain open.
- Joseph Warren: As a Board member, I will not attempt to close the Cherrydale Library.
This site is maintained by Citizens for Cherrydale Library, a group of citizen volunteers seeking since 1998 to promote and preserve our most important
neighborhood institution. Contact us at email@example.com with any questions or comments.