What About Borders? Let There Be Libraries!

A quick Googling of “Borders” will turn up a lot of stories about how difficult it will be to fill the building vacancies that the store closings are going to bring. Many of these buildings are two stories and on the order of 20,000 square feet. I thought some about the closing Borders in my own neighborhood, then I thought about the deficiencies of our local public library and it struck me. Why not turn these closed bookstores into public libraries!

The buildings are already made to hold books. They are also already important social hubs in many areas. Turning them into libraries would not require large construction costs and I suspect the land owners would be willing to deal on the rent rather than be stuck with something no other retailer would likely want in a down economy.

While it is hard to imagine local governments wanting to spend the money and effort to convert these bookstores to libraries right now, the cost not to may be greater. Because they are social hubs, generally located near other retail establishments, these bookstores brought a lot of business to other stores that they now stand to lose. Converting the vacant bookstores into libraries could maintain, and perhaps even increase this traffic saving jobs and creating new ones.

So please, somebody, let there be libraries!

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