Thursday, August 27, 2009

Letter Writers Support Hudson Library

(Saving you the hassle of having to log in to the opinion page of the Hudson Star-Observer.)

Letter #1
An informed and educated electorate is the foundation of a functioning democracy and a stable community. An up-to-date library is a formidable tool to go hand in hand with a strong system of public education.

We shortchange ourselves by turning a blind eye to the deficiencies in the existing library, especially when the economy wavers for so many.

If you support an improved library, perhaps you should remind your elected officials of your concern.

Letter #2
The recent brouhaha over the Indianhead Federated Library System report has served only to obscure a more important issue, that of community growth with its accompanying need for enhanced infrastructure.

I’ve lived in the town of Hudson for a little over 10 years, and I’ve watched with amazement as the surrounding farms have been turned into subdivisions, and two-lane roads have been replaced with four-lane highways.

The community of greater Hudson has witnessed the building of a new hospital facility, a new elementary school and numerous commercial and industrial facilities on the hill. As the population has grown, so has the infrastructure that is needed to support it.

It is within this context that the Hudson Area Joint Library’s status must be considered. Comparing our local library facility to other libraries seems to result in unproductive arguments about the validity of the statistics presented (no matter who is presenting them!). Why not compare the current status of the library’s service capabilities with that of ten years ago? Has the floor space, staffing, and collection grown as the population of the service area has multiplied? The answer would be “no.”

As local municipalities prepare their budgets for the coming year, they will struggle to allocate funding for all of the demands of their growing communities. It is to be hoped that decisions will be made not in terms of “either-or” but rather in a spirit of community awareness; that all needs will be considered and an attempt made to spread the limited funds equitably.

Our library provides a valuable community service, especially in stressful economic times. Attendance at the children’s Summer Reading Program, for example, is up 300 percent from five years ago, yet the physical space for the programs remains the same.

It is time for the Hudson Area Joint Library to be included in plans for a growing local infrastructure.

Indianhead Federated Library System Director John Thompson also responds to the criticisms leveled at him by Hudson Mayor Dean Knudson

No comments: