Standing along the north wall of the library proudly hangs a bright colored shovel, painted in theme of “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. This shovel was hand drawn by a former student, Tristan Turner, who graduated in 2017. The shovel was used as a part of the “ground breaking” ceremony for the Golden Triangle Library, which was set to open of Fall 2018. We are currently in 2020 and are still driving past an empty building. Will we see a Golden Triangle Library anytime soon?
When was the inception of the Golden Triangle Library project? In the city of Fort Worth’s 2014 bond election.
The original inception of building a library for north Fort Worth should be credited to Dr. Glenice Robinson, our former city library director of 23 years. She had the foresight to review the city’s population growth and recognize a need to include a library in far north Fort Worth. Although she has since stepped down from her position, her forward thinking had helped develop the program to a point of progress that could have been easily carried out in a reasonable time span. Community input meetings were held to receive design input beginning early 2016, leading up to the official groundbreaking ceremony that was held on June 19, 2017. The Golden Triangle Library was initially scheduled to open Fall 2018.
Problems began to arise almost a month after working with the construction team. For many days it was reported that no one was working on the construction project and weekly progress was not evident. Concerned community members reported to administration with pictorial proof that the construction company did not have adequate staffing on-site. In return, they received lazy and dismissive responses such as “you must have gone on a wrong day” and “it will get done when it gets done.”
Thus a decision could have been made to replace the construction company much earlier, yet it still took until October of 2019 for the replacement to happen. Almost an entire year had passed from when the library was set to open.
To add to the chaos, a significant library administrator resigned shortly after the new director was hired. He had been fully involved from the beginning of the project, and knew how to execute and manage it; this created a gap in knowledge and experience which affected the long term success of the project. It is uncertain if the library would be open by now had the administrator stuck around, but his role helped expedite the building of the library.
When asked about their final thoughts on the Golden Triangle Library, an anonymous board director was quoted as saying, “I hope that ideas and best practices gathered from Nashville, Arizona, California, Washington, and San Antonio libraries are used with library administration.”
“As well as this, I hope unique youth summer reading programs, fun STEM classes, and reading incentives are incorporated,” the anonymous board director further explained. “Other ideas I am passionate to see implemented are to have dedicated time and space for college counselors to be available for anyone to meet with for planning and goal setting and summer brown bag breakfast provided for our youth to invite them to start and spend the day at the library to enjoy in the hot summer.”
College counselors and younger students are not the only ones affected by the Golden Triangle Library fiasco. This library will leave an impact on our high school directly, as explained by junior Imani Wilson.
“I’m a reader, and I like books. I usually go buy them from book stores like Barnes and Noble. So it’s just easy to have a new resource for books that I don’t have to pay for,” Wilson said.
Per Director Manya Shorr, the library is scheduled to open Summer 2020. No programming or services information have been provided, nor are they anticipated to be until right before opening. Citizens in the community have waited years for this library, but as the saying goes “all good things are worth waiting for.”