Cherrydale Branch Library
Serving North Arlington since 1922
County Board Candidates Discuss Cherrydale Library
The Arlington County Board has considered closing Cherrydale Library twice in the past sixteen years (1992 and 1998). Citizens for Cherrydale Library (CCL), a non-partisan neighborhood volunteer group, since 1998 has been querying County Board candidates for their written views about library funding, neighborhood libraries, and Cherrydale Library in particular. This year, on July 8, CCL posed the same three questions to candidates Barbara Favola and John Reeder. CCL promised the candidates that if they responded by August 16, their remarks would appear in the pre-election issue of Sweet & Sour News and on the Cherrydale Library web site (http://home.comcast.net/~suza1/library.htm) and that CCL would submit their statements to the Arlington Sun Gazette. Both candidates sent responses, which appear below.
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?
- Barbara Favola: Yes, I fully support maintaining the current funding level for the Arlington County Department of Libraries, at a minimum. In the FY 2008 budget, I voted to increase funding to launch Arlington's On-Line Resource Network. This is an on-line catalogue of books available through the Library system. It is critical that Arlington provide Library services with state-of-the art technology and in a customer friendly manner. As your County Board member, I have committed the resources necessary to ensure that this happens. Moreover, I pledge to continue funding Arlington's Library system at a level that provides a very high-quality service.
- John Reeder: Yes, I favor maintaining and possibly increasing the funding for county libraries. I would like the operating hours of libraries expanded rather than cut as occurred in the current FY2009 budget. The County Board has invested and is investing large sums of capital in library buildings, and it makes no sense to me to cut the hours the libraries are open to the public. The library staff level has been flat for several years, while the county has built or expanded two neighborhood libraries (Westover and Shirlington). Why build a new building if you have to keep it closed? Excellent public libraries like public schools are the hallmarks of a great community, in my opinion.
3. As a member of the County Board, will you seek to close Cherrydale Library?
- Barbara Favola: I enjoy and appreciate the County's neighborhood libraries. These libraries serve as gathering places for neighbors. They are safe and manageable places for young children to use. As a parent and former user of the Cherrydale Library, I completely understand why people are passionate about keeping this service in their neighborhood. When my family lived near the Cherrydale Library, my son and I used to walk to the library to participate in the Children's Reading Program, much to my delight. The Cherrydale Library is truly a jewel and I am committed to keeping it open.
- John Reeder: I strongly support neighborhood libraries, including the Westover Library close to where I live. I see neighborhood libraries as catering more to children and people living within walking distance, and that is an important element of our library system's functions.
- Barbara Favola: I really appreciate the Cherrydale Library and will not support closing it. When the County Board considered closing the Cherrydale Library in 1998, I strongly advocated keeping it open. If the idea of closing the Cherrydale Library ever surfaces again, I will do my best to ensure that the Board rejects the idea.
- John Reeder: I will not seek to close the Cherrydale Library or any of the other existing branch libraries.