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Downtown Jacksonville Library Locks Main Street Doors Due to Security Costs

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Chris Boivin
/
Jacksonville Public Library
The Main Street doors are no longer accessible at the Downtown Jacksonville Public Library due to security costs, according to library spokesman Chris Boivin.

The Downtown Jacksonville Public Library’s recent decision to close its doors on Main Street and make Laura Street the only entrance has created a hardship for at least one library patron.

67-year old Arlington resident Ram Krishnan is a regular at the downtown library where he goes to play chess.  “The main branch has a chess corner and so I go there about four or five times a week.”

With the metered parking spaces on Duval Street frequently made off-limits by the city, Krishnan said the closest parking he can find is usually on Monroe Street, where a short walk gets him to the library’s conference center entrance on Main Street.

“But now that they’ve blocked it, I have to walk all the way outside, up the hill on Monroe and the temperatures are now getting warmer and warmer,” said Krishnan.

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Credit Chris Boivin / Jacksonville Public Library
The Downtown Jacksonville Public LIbrary has an area where visitors can play chess.

Krishnan said he’s asked that one or two of the library’s five doors on Main Street be opened to the public but library spokesman Chris Boivin says they can’t afford the security.

Boivin did promise to try and improve the parking situation. “We definitely can talk to the parking department. As you of course know there’s a limited amount of parking so we’ll make sure to do what we can to make this accessible to everyone.”

WJCT news reached out to the city to find out why the Monroe Street parking spaces are often made unavailable.

A city spokeswoman said the Office of Public Parking is allowed to rent metered spaces to construction, insulation and repair companies working downtown. 

Right now a number of parking spaces next to the library are being rented by a subcontractor doing work on the library’s roof.

This story was updated on 7/19 with the city’s response.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.