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The Tentacle


September 11, 2009

The Good and The Ugly

Michael Kurtianyk

Last Friday I attended a “Music on the Terrace” program at C. Burr Artz Library. It was a beautiful midday, with a gentle breeze blowing over Carroll Creek. The terrace was packed with citizens enjoying the salsa music (as performed by Sin Miedo), and the free Rita’s ice cream.

 

This program was the first of its kind for this season, and will continue each Friday for the rest of September, from 11:30 – 1:30pm. In case of rain, the event is moved indoors to the Community Room.

 

“Music on the Terrace” has been in existence for eight years now and is a tremendous service to our community. Where else can you enjoy music of different genres with the beautiful views that Carroll Creek provides? Admission is free, and the four-week program is sponsored by Frederick County Public Libraries, Rita’s, The Frederick News-Post, WFMD, and the C. Burr Artz Trust. As a member of the Board of Trustees, I thank all of the sponsors for providing this great program.

 

The Frederick News-Post recently brought to the public’s attention that the parking garage next to the downtown library (Carroll Creek parking deck) is converting to an automated ticket-paying system. The way the system works currently is that upon arrival, a library patron presses a button for a yellow ticket. So long as the library patron parks in the appropriate spot, takes no more than two hours, and gets the yellow ticket stamped, the patron will not have to pay for parking.

 

Beginning September 21, this parking deck will be automated. You can see the machines there now, with a “Not in Service” sign on each of them. Library patrons will still do what they’ve done in the past: arrive at the parking garage, get their ticket, and have it validated at the front desk. Furthermore, so long as the patron exits the garage within two hours, he/she will not have to pay for parking.

 

The difference will be that before getting into their cars, the patrons will take the validated ticket to one of the automated machines, and will receive a ticket to present to the parking staff on the way out. Now, if the patron stays more than two hours, he/she will be able to pay the difference via cash or credit at the machine.

 

I am glad that the City of Frederick released the press statement to explain everything. It was odd that the machines showed up, and the library staff wasn’t formally informed of the logistics of this change. With a press release two weeks before the conversion, there will still be bumps, but in the long run, the automated systems should be good for library patrons.

 

On a more serious note, vandals hit the Urbana Regional Library recently. One of the staff members notified authorities that the ceramic pots protecting the water fountain had been smashed. These cowards also damaged the wood fence at the back area of the facility, along with a door used for the generator room. Also disturbing is that there continued to be broken bottles strewn in that area of the library.

 

Why is it that we have acts of vandalism? Are these kids who are bored, get drunk, and think it’s funny to do these ridiculous acts? Revenge by library patrons? Out-of-town patrons looking to get back at Urbana residents? We, of course, need the police to continue their investigations and eventually prosecute the culprits.

 

The library cannot afford security cameras – it’s not in its budget. Its staff are scrambling as it is to maintain its high level of services throughout the county. As the economy continues its downward spiral, the library has seen its usage increase – ironic, isn’t it?

 

I call on our fine county citizens to step up and help any way they can. Contact the Urbana Library at 301-600-7000 if you can help.

 

If anyone has any information on the despicable acts of vandalism, would you please notify the Sherriff’s Office? Their number is 301-600-1046.

 

Together, we can decrease, if not stop, these terrible acts.

 



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