Spurned By The RPL Board, Again

A few weeks back I sent in a Freedom Of Information request for some documents related to the redesign of the library’s central branch.

Yesterday, the Regina Public Library board informed me they wouldn’t be releasing anything, saying,

“In the coming months, the Regina Public Library Board will undertake the next phase of its consultation process and more information about the project will be available at that time.”

Phew. Well, that’s a relief. Because, of course, this promise of public consultations to start some vague number of months in the future is surely different from all the other times over the past two years when the RPL Board has responded to my polite, non-FOI-Act-invoking requests for information about the central branch with a, “Call back in a couple months.”


Seriously, RPL Board? You think this is going to placate me? You think I will shrug my shoulders and walk away like some mook?

You think this letter will be the end of our little dance?

Oh, I’m just getting started, RPL Board.

Unless of course you actually release some substantial information about the central branch to the public. And if you actually start that public consultation process you’ve been promising. And if it’s a real consultation and not just you seeking a stamp of approval from us proles.

You do all that, then I’ll shut right up. No more phone calls. No more letters. (You think you won’t. But you’ll miss me.)

Honestly, I’d much rather be playing with my kids.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

32 thoughts on “Spurned By The RPL Board, Again”

  1. She also gave me a great quote:

    “There’s the general public and then there’s Joanne Havelock.”

    Joanne, of course, being the Friends Of The Library spokesperson who raised concerns about the lack of transparency in the process. So apparently concerns are only concerns if the people who AREN’T paying attention raise them.

  2. So is the twenty bucks a bribe to make you go away, or did they send it back to you as a ‘no thanks’ to a formal FOI request? Can they just do that?

  3. “Hincks-Joehnk said she doubts the public at large is as worried as The Friends Of The Library are.”

    Consider me among the public at large.

  4. Everyone I’ve talked to is against the idea…all people not affiliated with Friends of the RPL. I think Darlene Hincks is looking for a legacy project and doesn’t care what the public thinks.

  5. Everyone I’ve talked to says he/she is willing to wait patiently for more information, but none of these people is a affiliated with Friends of the RPL. I think Darlene Hincks-Joehnck is being reasonable.
    p.s. Environment Canada predicts we will still be discussing this in the year 2015.

  6. Carle: The latter. And I’m glad they sent it back as cash. This way, it’s easily converted into a) beer, or b) another FOI request.

    Pat: I’m impressed you got her to speak so candidly. And while on vacation.

    That line about Joanne is hilarious. What a cut-up. I love interviewing Darlene Hincks-Joehnck. When I get the chance, that is.

  7. “Hincks-Joehnk said she doubts the public at large is as worried as The Friends Of The Library are.”

    Mr. Miliokas, Ms. Hincks-Joehnk: I am also one of the public at large, and I AM worried about transparency when it involves planning of a public project, and may involve the destruction of a historic building.

    Maybe I should just pay more attention to the public library, instead of using it every week. Then I could perhaps begin to care less about literacy, accessibility, and honesty in the development of the library and the heart of our City.

  8. No one said it was unanimous, Neil. Thank you kindly for speaking out and making your voice heard. I welcome, indeed, sir, I encourage, the expression of ALL points of view, particularly those of dissent. The exception, of course, is the topic of vaccination, where one and ONLY one opinion counts.
    p.s. I think this library business would make a whitworthy subject for a prairie dog poll, don’t you?

  9. “I finally got Darlene Hincks-Joehnck on the phone from Florida last week.” Does her husband still travel to USA?

  10. Oh, you could file a FOI request to maybe find out.

    “There’s the general public, and then there’s Nick Miliokas.”

  11. How do you spell hippocrate? I mean: hippycraft. No, wait: hypocratus …
    (Can you help me out with this one, Barb? It’s a tough one.)

  12. #18 He also said: “A physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician.”

  13. Having read those statutes it seems most of their argument is that they’re worried their negotiations with the Masons could be compromised if information is made public. Hard to think how that might be the case when they’re the only ones negotiating for the land.

  14. #20 Translation: If the information was available to the Masons, the Masons might use it to their advantage in negotiations.

  15. I don’t think the Masons were mentioned specifically and certainly not exclusively — this goes for expatriate bloggers as well.

  16. MODERNIST RPL and the Regina Declaration! Supported by people across Canada!!

    The Ordinary Amazing Symposium in 2007, jointly organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the Dunlop Art Gallery explored aspects of Modernist architecture in Regina. Patricia Patkau and Clifford Wiens were the two keynote speakers. This symposium opened in conjunction with the Clifford Wiens exhibition at the Mackenzie. Patricia Patkau was an ideal speaker because of her firm’s work with the renewal of the Winnipeg Public Library, and of the design of the Grand Bibliothèque in Montréal.

    Worried about the future of the Modernist Modernist Izumi-designed Regina Public Library, Trevor Boddy, the curator of the Clifford Wiens exhibition, and Cheryl Cooper, of the Aurther Erikson Conservancy, drafted the Regina Declaration, which was signed by many architects and cultural writers from across Canada who were in the audience in Regina that weekend.

    Both the Masonic Temple and Central Library are in the Victoria Park Heritage Conservation District Both have great heritage value for Regina, for the province, and for Canada.

    Many people believe that an “up and over” expansion to preserve the gem of the Modernist RPL, about to turn 50 years old this year, would be a great way to perverse the existing building, and preserve our fragile history of our city. The 1967 Winnipeg Public Library has done exactly this, with great architectural and popular success: people are coming to the Library!

    Regina Delcaration, May 26, 2007

    We are architects, planners, business people, artists, property-owners, seniors and public servants from Regina, all over Saskatchewan, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific in Canada.

    We are resolved that the Dunlop, the central branch of the Regina Public Library and all the neighbourhood branches are an important part of the social, intellectual, artistic and business fabric of the City of Regina, and urge City Council and the Library Board to look for innovative ways to keep this superb system in place.

    We are further resolved that the Regina Public Library Central Branch is a building of national, historical, cultural and architectural merit and urge City Council and the Library Board to find a way to keep and maintain and enhance the heritage values of this fine building consistent with the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada; as well as explore creative possibilities for a building enlargement that would complement the 1962 building, so it can continue to serve the changing needs of Regina’s people, and enhance its key public spaces.

    We are resolved that many of the buildings of the city’s most prominent architect, Mr. Clifford Wiens, in Regina and elsewhere in Saskatchewan, have been neglected, ill-maintained, or added onto in unsympathetic ways; therefore, we urge the Cabinet of the Province of Saskatchewan to work with the various municipal councils and community groups like the Saskatchewan Association of Architects and Heritage Canada to preserve these important works for the future.

    By signing the petition attached, our sentiments are with the citizens of Regina who continue to make the “Queen City of the Plains” a forward-looking place dedicated to the quality of the built environment.

  17. While it would be a shame to ask you to spend more time away from your kids, Paul, I would love to see what happens if you send a copy of your request and the response to the privacy commissioner. I don’t think FOI requests are optional for institutions that run on public money.

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