Perhaps the most embarrassing shortcoming of the Arlington County government’s hit-or-miss response to the COVID crisis has been the unwillingness – and that’s the only way it can be described – to keep libraries open, even in a bare-bones way. Locking up library facilities for more than a year while pleading dire poverty (an absolutely false assertion) was simply pathetic.
This week brought reopening of the Cherrydale and Glencarlyn branches, the final ones to be reopened since the system’s chaotic shutdown of March 2020.
Library officials and staff are not to blame; this has been the result of a massive failure of leadership at the top echelons of a government (County Board members and County Manager Mark Schwartz). And given our self-professed “world-class” county government’s panic-stricken response to COVID, there’s hardly a guarantee that these vital facilities will remain open.