Consider a unified library district

To the editor,

An Aug. 31 letter entitled “The truth about library funds” assured the public that Friends of the Library “understand their fiduciary responsibility and have been good stewards with the funds entrusted to them.”

As Durango Public Library patrons may be aware, the library is closed on Sundays and closes at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. However, library patrons may not be aware that the Pine River Library is open on Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m. and the Ignacio Public Library open on Sunday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

In addition, the Pine River Library is open 61 hours each week, the Ignacio Library is open 62 hours a week and the Durango library is open 57.5 hours weekly.

In a July 25 letter to me, the Durango Library director reiterated that opening the library on Sundays “could cost around $400,000/year” and yet the Pine River Library estimates its Sunday costs at $20,800 annually with Ignacio Library costs an estimated $12,000 annually.

While our new Durango library is a great source of community pride and the Friends make a valued contribution to its operations, the City has the responsibility to assure that the continued accrual of an estimated combined FOL fund of over $100,000 is handled with more openness, better transparency, public accountability and appropriate official oversight.

Considering recent county demographics, it may be time to consider a unified countywide Library District.

– Renee Parsons, former Council Liaison to Library Advisory Board