Thursday , June 13, 2013 - 3:25 PM
The recent discussion about the Weber County Library bond has been enlightening. As many other letter writers have noted, the Standard-Examiner’s stand against the bond demonstrates a lack of understanding about libraries, their purpose, function and service to the community (June 8 editorial, “Vote ‘no’ on library bond”). Libraries are no longer silent spaces with rows and rows of books. Instead, the contemporary library is a place of energy, activity, multiple purposes and many services. R. David Lankes, author of “Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today’s Complex World” discusses the impact of libraries on communities. In his book he points out that libraries are centers of learning, stewards of cultural heritage, safety nets for individuals who need services and information they would otherwise not have because they do not have internet access in their homes, cradles of democracy, and finally they are symbols of community aspirations.
One might wonder how a library can offer all of these services, but it only takes a moment to pick up a pamphlet at any of the branches of the Weber County Library system to see that the libraries offer classes in English, tax preparation, money management, chess, etc. They also host discussions on a variety of topics as well as book groups. They offer research services and the uploading of books on Kindles and Nooks, the participation in the Weber Reads program, and free access to information on more topics than I have the space to list.
Many residents of Weber County do not have the resources to buy books, magazines or computers and Internet services. Students who may lose their school librarians need instruction from the highly trained librarians employed in the Weber County Library branches. My aspiration for Weber County is that the library will continue to provide services that will enrich our community in multiple ways and that the opportunities it provides to my fellow residents will embraced and appreciated.
Kathleen M. Herndon