JP needs both branch libraries

I am writing on behalf of he Jamaica Hills Association (JHA) to express our support for keeping open Jamaica Plain’s two neighborhood libraries—the Jamaica Plain Branch and the Connolly Branch. The JHA is a Jamaica Plain community group incorporated since 1940 with nearly 800 households within its boundaries.

The Jamaica Plain libraries are critical elements in the fabric of our community. They provide safe places that children can walk to for homework help and are welcoming places that residents can go to and participate in learning activities.

We are especially concerned that closing either branch would negatively affect students attending Jamaica Plain schools. Locking the doors on either of our branch libraries would be a disservice to the children of our community who need more, not fewer, resources and opportunities for learning.

Moreover, one small library branch cannot adequately serve all of JP. Combined, the two buildings do not equal the square-footage of the large branch libraries in other Boston neighborhoods. Should one of the Jamaica Plain branches be closed, the remaining branch would not be able to house and meet the needs of all of Jamaica Plain’s children, teens and adults for public computers, books, DVDs and other library materials and programming.

At a time when the need for libraries and the use of libraries are at historic highs, closing either the JP or the Connolly Branch would be devastating to our community. The JHA strongly supports our branch libraries and urges the Boston Public Library Trustees, the Boston Public Library administration and our elected officials not to close either of the Jamaica Plain branch libraries or any other branch libraries.

Polly Selkoe
Jamaica Hills Association
Jamaica Plain

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