Ashburn Library

The Ashburn Library opened in 2003.

To the Board of Supervisors, your decision to close the Rust Library and Ashburn Library disgusts me. Your attorney's letter stating that as the board of supervisors you "own" the libraries is Orwellian, like your decision. You don't own anything; the libraries are public and therefore owned by me, and about 300,000 other residents of Loudoun County.

Shutting libraries to serve a grand total of 56 children of county employees between libraries that serve over 6,000 patrons weekly is the kind of thing that authoritarian regimes do when consolidating power. The privileged government employees get private childcare, no matter the cost to the public.

The decision was made in a completely undemocratic fashion. There should have been public debate about this question, an opportunity for constituents to weigh in with their representatives.

Why can't these children of the elite government workers muddle through school closures like the rest of us? Ms. Randall says it will serve the public because a fireman will do his job better knowing his child is being cared for; what about grocery workers, pharmacists, truck drivers, and all the other taxpayers in the county who confront the same childcare problems? Why is the county employee more important than the rest of the taxpayers in the county?

Our libraries provide more than books and access to information. Rust Library is home to a stunning and expensive, taxpayer-funded maker's space. Conference rooms, restrooms, study rooms, and reference librarians all serve our community, as well as many computer terminals that provide free Internet access.

I wonder: Why can't county and LCPS find childcare like the rest of your constituents? Why must two libraries be closed to serve 56 children? And why, if this is truly the only option and these children's parents are indeed owed this sacrifice by taxpayers, can't we have a democratic debate and an open vote about this issue? 

Mary Martha Aubry


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