And though there isn't really an opposing side, administrators in Harrisburg haven't budged. Last month, library patrons and champions had a meeting with state library official Alice Lubrecht, which multiple participants called "appalling." Heim says, "We asked if she was going to take back our concerns and she told us: 'There's no point. It's a done deal.' "
Dan Simpson, a leader in the blind community and a devoted library patron for half a century, says: "This has been so frustrating as a citizen. You believe you have a voice in government. You raise serious questions and pretty significant arguments against the plan, and they don't listen. It's exasperating. No wonder people are cynical."
The library fight is a microcosm of what's happening in Harrisburg, especially for regional residents. Enormous decisions are made by a sheltered state bureaucracy, operating in a fortress of entitlement and power of their own design. If you're lucky, officials may take a meeting, but they don't appear to be listening. In the library's case, they're not changing their minds on a flawed decision that affects our most vulnerable citizens yet won't save money, Harrisburg's primary operating principle.