Opinion » Letters

Don't leave the library in the dark



I recently went to my local branch of the SLO Library System, located at 800 W. Branch, Arroyo Grande. It was about 6 p.m., about an hour after the sun had set, and the library was closing at 7. Right away, as I drove up, I noticed how dark it was in the upper parking area where I usually park, which is to the left of the building. I then went to find a parking spot in the section of the parking that is to the right of the building. Again, I noticed how dark several sections of that was. There was even a bulb out on the streetlight that should have been illuminating a set of stairs going from one section of the lot to another, lower section.

When I entered the library, I went immediately over to the staff on duty at the desk and asked if they were aware of the burnt-out bulbs all through the parking lots. They told me they were aware, they had reported it in the past (evidently to no avail), and that it effected them directly as the section of the parking lot they themselves park in is located in the dark areas as well. I asked if it was a money-saving or budget issue, but they didn’t know the answer to that.

As I left, I counted 19 burnt-out bulbs—and there may be more, as it was hard to see them all in the dark. This figure represents about a third to a half of the parking lot lights. Lights on the building itself were dark, but most of the burnt-out bulbs were located in sections of the parking lot that were now deep pockets of darkness.

In my opinion, this failure to properly illuminate the parking area represents a serious liability problem for SLO County, which I believe oversees the library facilities. Perhaps I’m wrong about where the responsibility lies, but I believe the matter needs immediate attention and correction. It’s easy to see how a person—library staff or patron—might trip over a curb or step, break a hip, get a concussion, be assaulted in the darkness, etc.

Would you please see that the correct person or department get this complaint and remedies the matter before someone gets injured?

-- Carolyn LeVesque - Arroyo Grande

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