Gregory Library Watch

Preserving working class Black history

Tune in Wednesday October 13 to Connect the Dots

This coming Wednesday, October 13, at 3:30 we will be on Robert Muhammad’s radio show Connect the Dots. The show is broadcast on KPFT at 90.1 FM and it also can be streamed live on their website and for up to 15 days on their archive page.

Host Robert Muhammad tells it like it is.

 

October 8, 2010 Posted by | Connect the Dots | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Library claims 50 visits a week! Cost to taxpayer: over $168 / visitor

The City of Houston’s Fourth Ward website claims that the Gregory Library, which was renovated for over $11 million dollars of taxpayer funds, is getting 50 or more visits per week! Please see Houston Chronicle: $11 million for renovation article for that cost citation.

By taking the Gregory Library’s current salaries (see document: Gregory Library budget 2010) of $437,405 and dividing it by 52 weeks per year, we see that it costs the taxpayers $8,411.00 per week just for library salaries. Then when we divide that $8,400 plus dollars per week by 50 visitors, we come out to a cost of $168+ per visitor.

That $168 per visitor figure is very conservative because that overhead does not include things like insurance on the building, security guards, and utilities. Once we obtain the data on those costs we will get the actual taxpayer cost of each library visitor.

Can you spell tax dollar boondoggle?

Artist sketch of Gregory Library


October 1, 2010 Posted by | taxpayer waste | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to Gregory Library Watch

This blog is to monitor the activities of the African American Library at Gregory School which is located in the historic Freedmen’s Town area of Houston, Texas.

According to the Gregory Library, their mission is  “To serve as a repository for use by historians, researchers, and the general public.”

Unfortunately the library offers very little for the public besides a nice diversion for an hour or so to peruse their galleries. It will take years, if not decades, to build a collection of African American archives. In the meantime the Gregory Library and our tax dollars could serve the community. Gregory does not have a computer room for people to use to search for jobs or for children to do homework. They do not have any programs like most libraries do. They have lots of empty space and two floors but nothing for any of the low income or other residents that live in the immediate vicinity of the library.

Even for the researcher, whether it is someone with a doctorate in African American history, or a grade school student doing a history project, there is very little material to work with. Currently the library only houses fourteen (14) archival collections. Here is the complete list. These archival collections only add up to 11 linear feet or less than 6 full boxes of documents. The library also has done a few oral histories and made them available on their website. The link on the Gregory library website shows only 22 oral histories, eight (8) which were already owned by the Houston Public Library.

We are  a group of concerned activists living in Freedmen’s Town. Our mission is to ensure that all of the history of African Americans in the City of Houston, but particularly in the Freedmen’s Town Historic District, is represented in the Gregory Library.

January 9, 2010 Posted by | welcome | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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