NEWS | April 23, 2021

Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller 502d Air Base Wing Commander

Feedback Fridays is a weekly forum that aims to connect the 502d Air Base Wing with members of the Joint Base San Antonio community. Questions are collected during commander’s calls, town hall meetings and throughout the week.

If you have a question or concern, please send an email to jbsapublicaffairs@gmail.com using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Q. When will the library be opened for patrons to physically browse to check out videos and/or books?

As of now, people are not allowed in the library unless they are there to check out a computer. If you are not there for a pickup, you are readily shown the exit.

If CDC guidelines are followed, and with time limitations and capacity restrictions imposed, the library could be safe and not treated like it is radioactive.

I would like to see a modification of the rules governing access to the library.

A. Thank you for your question and interest in our JBSA Libraries!

We are just as anxious as our patrons to return to full operations which include browsing of library materials, but we also want to ensure the library staff and valued community are safe.

There are a few things taken into thoughtful consideration when assessing the services we are able to provide. The American Library Association, or ALA, recommends against browsing at this time unless materials can be strictly controlled after being touched.

Many studies have been conducted including research found at the Institute of Museum and Library Services website at oclc.org/realm/research.html that indicates the virus can be detected on various materials found in the library anywhere from two to six days after contact.

Due to the inability to clean porous materials without causing damage, anything touched would need to be quarantined the recommended number of days to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

Unfortunately, our JBSA Libraries are not staffed to monitor patrons as they browse in order to properly quarantine materials after they are touched.

We've also expanded the number of items that can be reserved to 50 items! Please visit jbsalibraries.org for more information and feel free to contact any of our libraries for individualized assistance to include possible procurement of titles not currently located in any of our JBSA Libraries.

We will continue to assess the Health Protection recommendations weekly for possible expansion of services and keep the public informed via our website and also the JBSA Libraries Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jbsalibraries.

Q. My question concerns plans at each installation to install electric vehicle, or EV, charging stations for public use at all JBSA bases.

The President committed to EV use among government vehicle fleets. I wonder does this commitment extends to the base working and retiree populations.

Although small, the use of EVs among retirees and employees is ever-growing and we respectfully request infrastructure expansion. All government buildings should have a number of EV charging stations proportionate to the number of employees working within. The Exchanges, commissaries, theaters, golf courses and other services could offer EV charging stations.

Not only is this a morale boost, but for businesses, it attracts additional customers. The cost can be offset by the number of loud polluting vehicles, which our dedicated Security Forces will not miss, to zero-emission and near-silent vehicles.

The Security Forces have mentioned to me on more than a few occasions how nice it is for them when I drive through that they are not bombarded with noise and air pollution.

Ten years ago I said, “It won’t be long before we see EV charging stations all around this base.” I still drive my 2011 EV and still waiting for a place to plug in on base. Will JBSA installations lead the way? 

A. Thank you for the question. Civil Engineering is committed to providing a resilient and energy-efficient installation and culture.

Typically energy initiatives such as charging stations are installed during new construction of facilities, or as a commercially provided contracted pay-for-use service.

We are supportive of such initiatives, particularly when they target community gathering lots such as the Exchanges and commissaries.

To help, CE will recommend to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and the Defense Commissary Agency to consider as they make capital improvements to their facilities.