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Library budget cuts are concerning

By Staff | Feb 9, 2018

I’ve been a frequent patron of the Bolivar Harpers Ferry Public Library since moving here in 1999. I have spent countless hours browsing the stacks, accompanying my daughters to many wonderful children’s programs, attending interesting presentations, volunteering, serving on the board and now working there part time.

I understand that a prevailing opinion on the commission is that libraries are obsolete. Perhaps members need to visit our library and see what I see?

I see parents of young children returning large bags of children’s books every week, then refilling those bags to the brim with more books. I see nurturing parents instilling a love of reading.

I see children playing at the train table or talking to the stuffed animals, then snuggling up for a story. I see children learning how to read, how to think, how to express themselves, how to make sense of the world.

I see people without home computer access searching for jobs, writing resumes, researching home projects and reading the news. I see them working to succeed despite setbacks.

I see people who live alone lingering over conversation, warm with human contact. I see fellowship.

I see students researching topics, writing essays, finalizing projects, printing out text and pictures, and completing layouts on the work tables. I see academic success.

I see families discussing which movie they’ll watch together. I see families growing closer.

I see children leaning forward eagerly and listening as a book is read. I hear their laughter. I see their curiosity.

I see a family reunite every weekend as parents and their adult children meet at the library, catch up and play board games. I see caring parents and devoted children.

I see people filled with excitement for a new title, saying they can hardly wait to get home. I see avid readers.

I see friends made at book club laughing together, discussing books and their lives, and gathering around to support one another in difficult times. I see compassion.

I see schoolchildren, safe and warm, waiting for their parents to pick them up after school. I see a haven.

I see people at many excellent presentations, learning from the speakers – and from one another. I see education and communication.

I see children talking about books, the ones that are their favorites, and asking if they can please check them out again? I see school readiness.

I see parents with strollers, neighborhood children, AT through-hikers and people without vehicles who can walk to their local library with all it offers. I see equal access.

I see a community. I see all that could be lost. I see something irreplaceable: our library.

– Lucile Allen