Manchester Voters: Test Your Library Knowledge

The facts about libraries and the Mary Cheney expansion may surprise you. Take this test to see what you know.

Be informed when you go to the polls on November 6. The referendum to expand Mary Cheney Library is on the ballot. Take this True or False Test to see how much you know about how libraries have changed and about the Mary Cheney Library expansion. Then, you decide where you stand. I’m supporting the expansion.

1. Close to 70% of America’s public libraries now say their staff help patrons complete job applications online, and the same number offer help with résumés.

2. Mary Cheney Library has over 1,000 visitors each day. It has the fourth largest circulation in the state.

3. Manchester has over 1,000 acres of parkland. The library expansion will take up only an .08 of an acre.  That is only 8/100’s of an acre.

4. In Connecticut, as in the rest of the country, books still make up the vast majority of library collections — 14.2 million books to 927,000 movies — but movies have a much higher circulation rate.

5. The Cheney family deeded the northern section of the Park for municipal buildings.

6. The Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business group are in favor of the library expansion in Center Memorial Park.

7. E Books represent only 1% of library circulation. Public libraries in the United States lend an average 2.1 million videos every day, slightly more than the 2 million that Netflix ships.

8. Over the past few years, hard-hit Americans have been economising by cancelling their broadband contracts at home and looking to public libraries to fill the gap.

9. National per person visitation and circulation in libraries have both increased solidly over the past decade, a trend that would not necessarily have been predicted given the rise of the Internet and the increased presence of large booksellers over the same period.

10. The bond for the expansion of the Mary Cheney Library will cost the average taxpayer $32 per year.

Answers: All of the above statements are true. Now, see how much you just learned about libraries!

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Nutmegger October 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Thanks for sharing this list.
Home Baptist October 11, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Although I value the park, I find more use and value in the library. The library is in desperate need for an upgrade and the plans as proposed, although not perfect, appear to meet the needs of the town with minimal infringment on the park. The improved library will also serve as a "draw" to Main Street and is critical to the slow transformation that is taking place down there. Vote "YES" on Nov. 6.
Amanda October 12, 2012 at 04:06 AM
As a parent of four children, I believe that green space/parks and libraries are both valuable assets to a community. The proposed expansion does not infringe upon any part of the park that most (any?) people use or notice. Expanding the library fulfills the purpose of the deed by the Cheney family. The Manchester library is more than just a place to check out books and movies. It is a thriving center for our community and deserves the space to expand for the good of our town.
Geoffrey King October 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Thanks for this information. The library provides a great service to Manchester. Handicapped accessibility is a major problem though and if we expand the library for no other reason (and there are many) it should be to make the library accessible to all of members of our community. It is probably not possible to make the present library fully handicapped accessible without major structural alterations which would actually reduce public space and be very expensive. Vote yes for a better community!
Manchester Review Blog, Host: Jack Peak October 12, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Thanks for your comments. There is a misconception amongst many voters that the park will be "paved over" and significant green space will be lost. This is just not true. I would encourage voters to drop in at the library- take a look at the photos and pick up a copy of the site plan. Take it outside and walk around a little so you can visualize the addition. Then assess what it will do for the community versus how little green space will actually be lost- 8/100th of an acre.
Miriam Byroade October 12, 2012 at 01:52 PM
The town has done white spray paint on the grass and pavement north of the current library building to show exactly where the new addition will be, very easy to see.
leslie frey October 16, 2012 at 10:42 PM
More false propaganda! Big deal if librarians help with resumes! Manchester libraries (plural) are the 6th busiest, not the 4th. Center Memorial Park does not have 1,000 acres. Movies can easily be moved elsewhere. Do we really want our libraries to be Blockbusters? We also have sacred war monuments in the park that deserve our respect & admiration. The Historic Society and countless residents are against the proposed expansion. The poor economy is all the more reason to vote NO. Today many of our homeless are forced to seek daytime shelter on our libraries. And don't believe for a minute that your taxes will only increase by $32 a yr! $12.5 million is only the beginning! Doubt it includes demolition of the former YSB across Center St at the far corner of the park where they intend for people to park..... Can you really seer yourself parking there & crossing busy Center St?? Come hear the truth at Public Informational meeting scheduled for Mon Oct 29 at 6:30 pm at the Salvation Army. You'll want to vote NO after hearing the truth!
Nutmegger October 16, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Leslie, I can absolutely see myself parking there and crossing Center Street. Furthermore, I'm a member of the Manchester Historical Society and am in no way opposed. Having some vocal leadership in the society being opposed to the plan doesn't mean all of the membership is. Though I'm glad that you mentioned the homeless residents using the library, since I am convinced that half of the opposition to this expansion is based on that.
Nutmegger October 16, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Also, you really think that 4th vs. 6th is a huge deal? We have 169 towns in the state. The point is that it's an incredibly busy system. Don't miss the forest for the trees.
Manchester Review Blog, Host: Jack Peak October 17, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Leslie Re-read the article. It says Manchester has 1000 acres of parkland, not Center Park. I notice the old "save the park" slogan just doesn't work anymore now that people realize the expansion only takes up a net .08 acres of that 1000 acres of parkland in Town. Now the argument is "park where," the economy, the evil of DVD's, the homeless, whatever the opposition can dream up. Accept it- libraries change as does all else. E books, computers, Internet access and DVD's are a big part of library functions across the country. It's unlikely we'll ever go back to the quiet reading room, books only institution that you yearn for. Next you'll be wanting to hire monks to transcribe books in the basement! They won't need much room and it will cut down the circulation dramatically. As for parking, don't forget, we'll still have all the spaces in front of the library and on Main Street. They seemed to have served the 1000 daily visitors adequately. Resumes? It IS a big deal for people who need the help. There are many people in this economy who cannot afford the Internet at home who use the library for job searches and resumes. You would deny them the opportunity in order to save .08 acres of green space?
Manchester Review Blog, Host: Jack Peak October 17, 2012 at 12:34 AM
As for the war memorials, I believe the plan is to leave them where they are.
Nutmegger October 17, 2012 at 12:36 AM
What bothers me the most about the parking argument is that it basically boils down to, "No, don't make the library that much better -- then more people will want to drive there!"
leslie frey October 17, 2012 at 02:45 AM
You continue to twist the facts. All the points I mentioned are valid.


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