The recent article regarding a request from the eLearning Cafe to utilize the public library for free raises a number of questions and concerns.
The fact that eLearning Cafe claims nonprofit status does not mean they cannot afford to pay rent like any business. Have they submitted financial statements that indicate their revenue and expenses? Is Ms. Kelly compensated with a salary from the revenue generated? If so, how much?
The proposal that eLearning staff and volunteers will perform the same duties as a librarian is not realistic. Librarians go to school and receive extensive training in order to work in a library, something that I doubt eLearning staff and volunteers have done. It also makes one wonder how they can perform the duties of a librarian simultaneously with their duties as eLearning staff and volunteers. Which job would they be doing while at the library? Serving the library customers or their own?
The location in the library where the eLearning Cafe wants to run their business is a quiet, lovely spot where one can sit and read or work without distraction. Bringing in their own computers, customers and staff will be highly disruptive and inappropriate for a library environment. And what is to prevent other businesses, for profit or not, from wanting to use a public resource for private use?
I sincerely hope that this proposal is seen for what it is - somebody wanting something for free.