Teens have plenty of places
July 17, 2012
So the new art museum isn’t going to be ugly enough, and the library and the city want to get in the ugly contest with their proposal of a huge canopied annex to the existing library. Well, the future art museum will probably still win the ugly prize, but the library extension is a close second.
And I understand that the construction cost is estimated at $1,500 per square foot and that the plans so far have cost $500,000. Wow. I know a lot of people who have built spectacular houses in Aspen, and I doubt that anyone, no matter how elaborate their home, has spent that kind of money for construction.
I have read a couple of letters to the editor from teenagers who want the addition to the library, which, I understand from these letters, is supposed to provide a place for teenagers to be able to go to the library and have their own space to be noisy and where they won’t disturb others in the library. I guess this is so the poor things don’t have to be disciplined and be quiet for a little while. Aren’t there a lot of other places where they can be rowdy, like, for instance, on their many playgrounds, playing fields and skating rinks or in the great outdoors or at the youth center or at their homes? And if it is creative, vocal discourse they want, most teachers would welcome this in the classrooms or meeting rooms on school campuses or in the unbelievable number of free programs there are for youth in this town. I have always thought that libraries are supposed to be quiet places for quiet study, quiet access to books and reference materials and, in more recent years, quiet access to Internet resources. There are so many places for teenagers to blow off steam. Why do they have to do it at the library, especially at the cost of millions of taxpayers dollars, the loss of several tall evergreens and a permanent, ugly and very expensive addition to a classic building?