Do Bostonians Want 8 Pricey Suburban-style 20,000 Sq Ft Libraries or 26 Many-sized Walk-to Neighborhood Branches?

BPL president Amy Ryan has proposed "transforming" Boston's library system by preserving eight existing "lead" libraries that are 20,000 square feet or more at the expense of the remaining 18 smaller libraries anchoring Boston's 26 neighborhoods. The question is, Why? New York City just opened its newest branch in Battery City. It is 10,000 square feet. (See FOSEL earlier post on Green libraries). Of  Seattle's 26 new libraries, 15 are 10,000 square feet or less; 10 are between 10,000 and 16,000 square feet. Apart from its downtown library, which measures 362,000 square feet, none of  Seattle's neighborhood libraries are as large as 20,000 square feet. Large-sized libraries are expensive to build. The Mattapan branch cost almost $17 million. Battery City park's construction budget was under $7 million. Seattle's new neighborhood libraries cost from less than $500,000 to $10 million. For more about Seattle's library-renovation model, see  libraries_for_all_report.