Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

By Akindele Akinyemi
President Inkster Library Board 

A New Awakening for the Inkster Public Library

 


Let me begin by apologizing for not addressing the following situation quickly and in a timely manner. I know there has been some confusion as it pertains to the Inkster Public Library. Since January 2018, the Inkster Public Library has been permanently closed due to severe building issues. However, our Inkster Library Board has been working at full force and aggressively to secure a new facility for our community.

We are not just sitting around looking at the clock. And yes, we are currently looking at various ways to provide serves for our community.

For example, the Inkster Library Board looked at moving into temporary space at the old Chase Bank on Michigan Avenue as a tenant. However, we realized that it was not feasible for us to move forward with this plan because of the extra costs that would have been needed to utilize the space in the building.

These extra costs and items would have included the following (in part):

* Installing an existing security system and cameras with a connection to the police department.

* Ensuring fire extinguishers will have to be located within 75' of all exits.

* Hard wiring smoke detectors into the fire alarm system.

* Completing a boundary survey.

* Ensuring that the islands and planting areas on the site must have an irrigation system.

* Planting six trees on the site. Three along Michigan Avenue and three along West Street.

* Creating a new right-of-way to be granted to the City of Inkster for their future use to provide pedestrian access from Michigan Avenue to South River Park Drive.

Regardless of how much money a public entity may have we need to understand how effective library planning requires adequate and strategic budgeting. The budget reflects the priorities of the library plan and determines how resources are allocated when managing library funds. Therefore, spending money on a building that we do not own would have not been a smart investment of public funds for the residents of the City of Inkster. In addition, these additional costs would have slowed down our process to prepare for our new library building. It would have made absolutely no sense, as potential tenants, to pay for this level of work when this type of work falls under the responsibility of the landlord.

On the other hand, we have purchased our new building at 2500 Hamlin in Inkster, Michigan and we are on schedule to open the new library in June 2019.

Also, let me say that our Inkster Library Board have been providing the best leadership as it pertains to developing future plans for a 21st century public library with cutting edge technology, forging new partnerships with key stakeholders to embrace career technical education and K-20 partners to assist with increasing literacy as well as bridging the community and region together as one.

Our Inkster Library Director, Donna Sherrill and Inkster Vice-President, Ruth E. Williams, has stepped in and stepped up in terms of assisting with the transitioning of the library on another level. We are forever grateful for their hard work and dedication to ensure we are successful not just as a library but as a community.

Unfortunately, our general culture in America is divided now. Therefore, the role of Inkster Public Library, as an anchor in our community, is even more important. Libraries are not only the center of our communities but they also help us stay grounded in our values. Public libraries are safe zones where all people are welcome and included as well as to explore different cultures, foods, and religions. A public library is a place where it is safe to have conversations with people you might not know and who you might disagree with on the topics of the day. It's where innovation begins and solutions are developed.

Therefore, I ask humbly that the community works with us so we are successful in continuing to be a resource for our community. Our library board is always open to the community to embrace practical solutions to help us, however, we will not fall victim to bullying or pressure tactics as it pertains to the future development of our library. Public dollars should be used wisely to move us forward. We only want positive outcomes to benefit us long-term.

Meanwhile, we ask that our faith based institutions, community centers, or even a home can opens their doors to the Inkster Public Library so we can work together as one to develop a new awakening for our residents. Together, let's develop partnerships, programs and educational trainings to keep the library visible during this transition so we can all win as one.

Thank you for you continued support.

Akindele Akinyemi

President

Inkster Library Board

 

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