Friends of the Franklin Public Library are looking for gently used books
CDs, DVDs, tapes, and magazines for their Annual Book Sale, which will be held on Friday, September 11th.
From the Friends:
This popular annual
event helps the Friends sponsor numerous events at the Library such as the
wonderful cooking classes presented by Staci Joers, quilting
classes or the successful Divas and Divine Desserts program.Inaddition
to these great community events, the funds raised by the Friends help support
programs that the Library budget simply cannot afford. This past year the
Friends donated $14,000 toward computers for the children’s department, $8,000 toward updated books about foreign
countries and the 50 states and $4,500 toward the children’s, young adult
and adult summer reading program.
Help the Friends continue supporting the Franklin Public
Library and to continue to offer these community programs by donating your
books and other material to the Library for their sale. Drop off your used
books at the Franklin Public Library between the hours of 10 and 8:30 Monday
through Thursday and 10 to 5pm on Friday.
The book sale will be held on Friday, September 11th, 10am - 5pm,
Saturday, September12th, 10am - 5pm, andSunday, September 13th,1pm - 4pm
A special Friends only presale will be held on Thursday, September 10th
from 6pm to 8:30.
Not currently a Friend of the Franklin Library?
Pick up a Friends’ membership form at the Library or e-mail the
Friends of the Franklin Public Library at FranklinFriends@mcfls.org
Franklin Public Library is located at: 9151
West Loomis Road, Franklin, WI 53132 Phone (414) 425-8214.
If the inverse is true, look for home prices to continue to plummet in UNwalkable Franklin:
A new report from CEO for Cities, “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Home Values in U.S. Cities,” argues that more walkable neighborhoods increase home values. According to CEO for Cities, data was analyzed “from 94,000 real estate transactions in 15 major markets provided by ZipRealty and found that in 13 of the 15 markets, higher levels of walkability, as measured by Walk Score, were directly linked to higher home values.” CEO for Cities adds: “The study found that in the typical metropolitan area, a one-point increase in Walk Score was associated with an increase in value ranging from $700 to $3,000 depending on the market. The gains were larger in denser, urban areas like Chicago and San Francisco and smaller in less dense markets like Tucson and Fresno.”
FranklinNOW and the Franklin Today blog report on a common council meeting I could not attend Tuesday night. My unavoidable absence was particularly unfortunate because they discussed the city-owned parcel of land between Fire Station #1 and the Franklin Public Library, which I'd indicated would be a good location for a coffee shop/co-working facility if we could somehow induce that sort of development.
After reading both accounts (FranklinNOW starts out breathlessly: "Officials know that some empty city-owned space at 8921 W. Drexel Ave.
has caught the eye of several interested parties, but they will want to
continue to mull how to re-use that property."), it's clear that I should clarify some aspects of the concept I'd proposed and the process thus far.
First of all, it's my understanding that the Common Council asked various departments and commissions to submit their recommendations for the city-owned space. So, outside of the Fire Department, the "interested parties" became "interested" only after being asked to do so. (The Economic Development Commission recommendation is pending.)
As for my co-working facility idea, the most important point is this: The specific parcel between the library and the
fire department was a CATALYST for my concept of using city resources to
promote the idea of a coffee shop/co-working facility in a logical
space close to the library, park, and subdivisions, but the concept is
NOT dependent upon that specific spot.
In most of my discussions and meeting regarding the issue, this seems to be the hardest thing to make clear. For my part, I was led to believe in my initial inquiries that the fire department had not indicated any particular interest in that land. Therefor, I continued to refer to that piece of land specifically when describing a coffee shop/co-working facility, even though there's an entire "zone" in proximity to the library, park, subdivisions and city hall that could be suitable.
It's been made clear since then, however, that the Fire Department would like to expand Fire Station #1 in the direction of that land. As I've always said, Fire Department gets first dibs.
So, to reiterate: the coffee shop/co-working facility conversation can go on without regard to the specific parcel in question.
I think it might be wise at this point to "rebrand" the proposal as well by removing "coffee shop" from the title to prevent shorthand characterizations like the one I noticed in the FranklinNOW report ("There has been interest in the property for businesses, such as a coffee shop, the mayor said..."). While I think a coffee shop component is very important, more attention needs to be paid to the co-working function of a facility like the one I have in mind, and what such a facility could mean to the community in terms of supporting business development and small business collaborations.
Finally, Greg Kowalski's Franklin Today blog item paints a picture of political intrigue ("Michlig would need both the Mayor and the CCP to support his plan for
that parcel, and without it...at this point I'd have to contend that
the proposal could be labeled as 'politically dead'....) that simply does not exist. I am not a city employee nor an elected official, and the Economic Development Commission on which I serve is unbudgeted; at best I can afford only to offer my ideas and "shake the trees" in hopes of creating a productive conversation that gets us above and beyond business as usual.
Intriguing thread of comments at the Battle Joined blog reveals some cynical attitudes towards the role of a public library in Franklin, Wisconsin.
One wonders why anyone would consider moving to - or relocating a business to - a community that does not make a priority of its public library and its associated services, programs, and opportunities.
Victim of the budget shortfall, The City of Franklin's sole public space and community gathering point is now closed for ENTIRE WEEKENDS for the balance of the summer. Go home to your Wii; nothing to see here.
part of a mandate to cut budgets by 4 percent, the Franklin Public
Library will close on Saturdays during August and on Sept. 5.
Board President Dennis McKnight said the board had to make
"substantial" cuts in order to meet the order. In addition to closing
on Saturdays, the board also cut back in other ways, including on
spending for books and materials, he said.
members thought closing the library on two consecutive days - Saturday
and Sunday - would lead to greater savings on utility and
air-conditioning costs, McKnight said.
made more sense than closing for a week at a time, and doing it during
August avoids a closure during the school year, he added.
wasn't an easy decision," McKnight said. "We cut a lot of different
things rather than one big thing. … We certainly did not want to do it."
Thomas Taylor this summer asked all city department leaders to trim
their budgets by 4 percent this year as one of several cost-saving
measures to make up for a potential deficit.
He also told department heads to prepare to make more cuts by as much as 15 percent.
In a future where limited natural resources will force us to find
better solutions for density and efficiency, what will become of the
cul-de-sacs, cookie-cutter tract houses and generic strip malls that
have long upheld the diffuse infrastructure of suburbia? How can we
redirect these existing spaces to promote sustainability, walkability,
and community? It’s a problem that demands a visionary design solution
and we want you to create the vision!
Clearly, wholesale razing of asphalt-moated structures is not practical, so solutions that rehabilitate the mistakes of the past are especially intriguing. Hence, "Reburbia."
A series of before and after drawings by Galina Tahchieva immediately caught my eye. The restaurant pad below should be very familiar to residents of Franklin and surrounding communities. Unfortunately, the "new" Golden Corral restaurant slated for 27th Street - yes, the 27th Street for which the city has expensively established "design standards" - looks almost exactly like the "before" picture below. I guess we'll fix it later.
This set of simple infill techniques represents a sprawl repair toolkit to retrofit the 5 building prototypes that define Suburbia. These iconic detached structures and their parcels, via modest interventions, have the potential to contribute to a more diverse, cohesive urban fabric within a walkable and identifiable public realm.
Rather than being demolished, these existing buildings are re-purposed and/or lined with new structures using renewable technologies and energy-efficient practices, often taking advantage of Suburbia’s typically excessive setbacks and parking lots.
A drive-through restaurant pad becomes part of a main street, but largely concealed from it, with perimeter liner buildings added along the edges of its parking lot. A strip center is converted into a recycling center with a green roof and 2 side-wings with solar panels framing a courtyard that reaches to the sidewalk. A gas station remains in place while growing a two-story corner store-office extension at a busy intersection to help screen it. A suburban ranch house is permitted to utilize its deep front yard to add a wing with additional bedrooms, a home office, or a rental outbuilding that creates a courtyard with the existing home and defines a livelier street frontage at the sidewalk. Even the ubiquitous McMansion can be converted into senior housing when a five-bedroom/ three-car garage home yields a 10 room-9 bathroom facility for seniors and a caretaker.
Yesterday, a beautiful Sunday (low humidity, mid-seventies), I traveled to Franklin's Shoppes at Wyndham Village to see how this relatively new component of the local "social ecosystem" was being utilized on such a perfect day.
The answer? Let's just say that all that were missing were tumbleweeds.
ABOVE: Ferch's in Franklin.
Blame the economy? The fact is, at that very hour (about 5pm), while the Shoppes at Wyndham Village version of Ferch's Malt Shoppe was completely customer-free, the original Ferch's in Greendale (see photo below, taken 45 minutes later) was bustling with people - as is typical - inside and out.
Two Ferch's on the same sunny afternoon. What's the difference?
I saw vehicles come and go from Target at the Franklin Shoppes complex on a fairly regular basis. From the looks of it, these were all fairly joyless excursions; single-purpose errands for practical necessities (though one guy came out with a flat-screen TV and a huge smile). Everyone took straight-line courses from their vehicle to the Target entrance and back again. Occasionally you would see someone emerge with a coffee cup, having stopped at Target's in-store Starbucks.
ABOVE: Ferch's in Greendale.
A different story at the original Greendale Ferch's. There is a shaded, building-enveloped courtyard; on this afternoon, every table save one or two were occupied. Young
families, elderly couples, groups of teens, etc., all shared this comfortable
space and casually interacted. People walked between the courtyard tables and the adjacent park and coffee shop (the small neighboring stores were mostly closed for the day), stopping periodically to greet neighbors and acquaintances. And almost everyone I passed said hi to me as well.
An adjacent park, welcoming "outdoor room" courtyard environment, pedestrian- and bike-friendly
local streets, and attached neighborhood make Ferch's of Greendale a vibrant public space. And commercially lucrative.
Back at Wyndham Village, I noticed a couple of random benches on islands in the asphalt sea. I sat on one for a while -- long enough to contemplate exactly where I was. Why would anyone want to sit right here, in the middle of... nothing? What would bring a person to this particular bench in a strip mall like this, so obscenely out of synch with any sense of human scale?
Judging by the quizzical looks emanating from the windows of vehicles whizzing past me, I was not the only one wondering what I was doing there.
ABOVE: Ghost town.
I walked the entire Shoppes complex via the exposed strip of sidewalk; no enclosing "street wall" of mature trees and/or buildings to create a comfortable walking environment. I was the lone person on foot in the entire area for the entire period of my visit; again, cars passed me and looked me over as though I was dressed at the lead guitarist for KISS (which I was not). Needless to say, no one said "hi." After all, what the heck was I doing there?!?!
No, the people of Greendale are not inherently friendlier than the people in Franklin. This is an example of how our built environment creates us as much as we create it. Build formless, uninspiring, unwelcoming commercial spaces and you create single-purpose destinations that discourage the sorts of interaction and "lingering" that is crucial to the success of local (i.e. non-big box) businesses -- and, by extension, you strangle local economic livelihood. Who's in a hurry to lease space here as opposed to any other anonymous strip mall?
By contrast, Greendale offers a superior physical environment that attracts people whether or not they need to shop. The small, locally-owned businesses benefit, and a real community is maintained.