Saturday, September 18, 2010
Board Member Speaks Up for the McFarland Library
Link to September 16 letter to the editor in the Thistle eNews, "The library provides service that's the lifeblood of democracy, especially during hard times".
Local government is shrinking these days. Villages such as McFarland have not had development pressures nor the responsibilities to establish and maintain water and sewer utility, roads, street lights, etc. or the added population that would increase the need for police, fire and emergency services.
But there is one area of local government that experiences increased activity, especially during a time of economic recession: the library. Over the past three years, all phases of the services provided by our wonderful E.D. Locke Library have increased dramatically: library materials checked out, reservations, returns, computer usage, study room use, community room reservations, and participation in children and adult programs.
We seem to gravitate to free public services in a time when we all must tighten our belts. These services are available to everyone, regardless of economic status. Of course, we all help pay for them through taxes and the majority of our property taxes goes to pay for our excellent McFarland School system.
I find it gratifying to visit the library and see folks busily using the computer stations, study rooms, reference library, and the inviting children’s library as well as the neatly organized rows of books, videos, DVD’s and CD’s. It always reminds me that ours was meant to be and still is a country where free access to information and good entertainment provides the lifeblood for a true democracy.