This was a week with some bad news. The library system in our town is awesome and has a lot of branches. But with the economy the way it is, and less income (property taxes, timber tax, etc.), they have a hard decision to make.
From left, four-year-old Dominick Rose, Grace Rose, 8, and Carson Rose, 7, of Vancouver, listen to an audio story at the Vancouver Mall Community Library. Officials might be forced to close the popular branch early next year. (TROY WAYRYNEN/The Columbian)
The linked story from the Columbian does a pretty good job of telling the story.
From my personal perspective, this is MY library. We live directly behind the mall. I found that I could easily walk and use this as the library where I got my books - a lot of times, I use the request service to queue up the books I want to read, and then have them delivered to a library to pick up.
So back in March of 2007, I read in the library newsletter that there was a knitting group. Even though I was super nervous, I joined in. And it was a wonderful decision to reach out of my comfort zone. It not only improved my knitting, but my social skills thrived with new participants each time AND I gained a great group of regular friends. A few months later, the ladies introduced me to the Friends of the Library, and I joined up. I was asked to become the secretary for the Friends group when another girl had to leave. After that, I became an official leader for the knitting group, which was great fun to get to help people out.
In my time on the Friends of the library group, I've helped gather collections and put together charity baskets to help raise money two years in a row. I've also assisted with 2 library sales where we sell donated books to raise money for the library (and helped with the scheduling for staffing them). I got to volunteer at a childrens storytime/craft time, and will do that again this month. The members are so kind and a great group, they really make me feel like a useful member of the group.
I go to the library about once a week, sometimes more. It's great because there are so many books in the overall system, and I can request them and they put them on the reserve shelf for me to pick up in that next week. This has given me a chance to not only read a lot of the Historical Christian Fiction I love, but tons of non-fiction like Knitting and Health books. I feel like my knowledge grows every time I check out another set of books. And plus, it's a good reason for me to get some walking time in, whether it's just there and back, or around the mall once I get in, or one way walk to a library get-together with a ride home after dark.
If this branch of the library closes, I am going to miss out on a lot. There are other branches not too far away, but since I'm partially housebound and don't drive, this certainly was the ideal situation for me. I have tried to tell myself that "when God closes one door, he opens another"; it's hard not to be down about it. There's still a bit of a chance we'll have some miracle and get to stay open, this coming week we will find out more. Until then, I'm going to take some of what I wrote here and put it in a letter to the board of trustees who will be making the decision.