Library board takes public comments on possible building sale

CINCINNATI -- Controversy has swirled for months over the potential closing of one of the Downtown branch buildings of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. 

Monday night, the library board held a meeting to take comments from members of the public about the plan. 

Ahead of the meeting, the "Our Library, Our Decision Coalition" handed out information about the meeting.

"We're hoping to ask some difficult questions about the proposed closure and sale of the north building," Charles Campbell said. 

The Downtown main library spans two blocks. The board is looking into closing and selling the building north of Ninth Street and consolidating everything into the south building. 

Board members said they don't need all the space.

"You can now get onto your computer from your home, your school, your workplace, so it really eliminated the need for visits to a library," Executive Director Kim Fender said.

Those opposed to the plan have criticized the loss of public space to private developers. 

"Why are we talking about shrinking a library? Other systems are growing," Campbell said. "We have a world-class library and we should be thinking of how to make it better and improve it, and that doesn't include selling off almost 15 percent of the square footage."

The board did not plan to take any action during Monday's meeting. 

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