Arnett Branch Library temporarily closed for safety concerns

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Arnett Branch Library in Rochester is temporarily closed, and will remain closed until next week.

News10NBC talked to Monroe County’s library system, which is addressing some safety concerns when it comes to the library’s parking lot.

The library has a small “L-shaped” parking lot that wraps around the building. The library system says it plans on making some changes.

“That makes people fearful,” said Regina McCray of Rochester about her frustrations with local crime. She continued, “Like if you could take my car, my life don’t mean nothing either.”

A News10NBC viewer sent in an email saying that the Arnett Branch Library was being closed Friday, because cars in the library’s parking lot were broken into. People visiting the library were turned away at the front door.

“This is a neighborhood library that we need, and now we can’t use it because just the actions of a few people. That’s all that it is,” said Clinton Rice, a resident of the 19th Ward.

McCray added, “Nobody is being held accountable, not even the parents. Me personally if I had a Kia, and mine was broken in, I would sue the parents, because nobody is getting paid for their cars sitting in these lots.”

We talked to Jennifer Smathers, associate director of the Monroe County Library System. She tells us the reason for the closure is people recklessly driving through the library’s parking lot.

“There were some folks who went through at high speed. We’re concerned; we want to keep the kids who enter and other patrons safe,” said Smathers.

Currently, the library system is in talks with the city’s Department of Environmental Services. The plan is to change the traffic pattern in and around the parking lot.

“It’s looking like we might do some temporary barricades. We’re working with the city DES on that,” said Smathers.

The Arnett Branch is expected to reopen next Wednesday with those traffic barriers in place by then.

“There are other library branches available. The Phillis Wheatley is the closest one to the Arnett Branch, Downtown Central is also available as are other branches. So, they have alternatives to go to,” said Smathers.

Rochester Police confirmed they have responded to a few 911 calls at the library as recent as Thursday afternoon.