Sunday, February 1, 2009

MIS-Branch Libraries

"This is one of the ironies of investing in social capital that we will see in some other stories, too: improvements that help bring members of a community together sometimes also disrupt or sever old ties"-Branch Libraries

This statement came off as particularily ironic to me, yet also irritating. It's too bad that once a community finally is on the track to become more connected and on the path to regrowth, many of the occupants benefiting from the new changes are again forced out to other slum-like hoods. This is simply perpetuating the problem of crime and lower education rates. Once the community finally gets something, like the Near North Library, that is helping residents better themselves and the community as a whole, people who would normally be afraid to live in a "hood" like that, begin to notice its transformation and start to invest in the community. As soon as this investment begins, property value goes up, followed by the cost of living, driving out the low-income families that were finally beginning to benefit from the improvements in the community; forcing them into a new location that, often times, is worse than what they had before. Obviously, loads of people benefited from the library being placed there, but ironically and unfortunately, it seems that often times the people who can benefit most from the many services and improvements the library has offered, are shot down again as they are driven from the place they finally began to feel comfortable and involved in.

1 comment:

  1. This quote definitely struck me while going through the story of the Near North Branch. I definitely agree that the irony of the situation is extremely disheartening. The Library helps bring success and growth that is greatly needed in a town such as Cabrini Green, but consequently that success drives the poor from Cabrini Green into different slum-like community and only expands the wealthy Gold Coast. Its hard to see an end or solution to this problem which produces mixed feelings towards the success of the Library and its goal of improving the community.