For our last assignment in English, we are supposed to write two paragraphs to express "I believe in . . ." fill in the blank. As always, my mind jumped from subject to subject. Though it wasn't my first thought, I did consider ". . . laughter being the best medicine" which changed to " . . . power in literature'' (although that seems it would be tough to do in just two paragraphs) to ". . . saving the libraries in Douglas County" which is the assignment I ended up turning in. Meanwhile my brainstorming has caused other triggers, thus this blog post will include a lot more than just my two paragraphs (plus my writing may not reflect all those same rules)
I will also refer reader to other posts which I have written - but don't worry. I will not give all 66 posts in which library is mentioned. They are referenced if you may be interested in reading further or if you've been a follower all along, you may already remember. So don't click on underlined references unless you are truly interested. So with no further ado, let me take you on a "Library Journey"
My earliest recollection of going to the library was Ruth Vine Tyler Library located in Midvale, Utah. It was in the days before CDs, DVDs and computers. I think the library offered LP records to be checked out - though I don't believe anyone in my family ever checked out the LPs. Granted, my dad had quite a large record collection - possibly even larger than the library. My brother Patrick and I also had a huge collection of children's records, so probably did not use the audio sources that were provided through the library.
I do know that in addition to books, prints and pictures were among the items that could be checked out. I don't remember having checked out the pictures personally, though I do recall mom mentioning a neighbor down the street checking out pictures and hanging them on her wall for three weeks at a time. Among those she had checked out were prints of "Pinkie" by Thomas Lawrence and "The Blue Boy" by Thomas Gainsborough. I had remembered seeing them available.
Ruth Vine Tyler is currently one of eighteen libraries in the Salt Lake County Library System. I haven't taken the time to figure out which ones existed during my childhood. I remember Whitmore Library having been built in 1977. I think it was the largest of the county libraries at that time. Largest I had been to anyway.
It wasn't until after I was married that I really began to explore several of the other libraries. At present I have been to only half at one time or another. Our first house was located in Kearns and we would walk to the library on occasion. Kearns Library always seemed to offer fun activities; it was definitely the noisiest library I had ever been in.
Even after we had moved to West Valley, I would often visit the Kearns Library. I wasn't as impressed with the West Valley branch - at least not in the beginning. After a while, I came to enjoy going to the library in West Valley, as we could commute there by train. It was through West Valley Library when Jenna and I were introduced to the mother/daughter reading group mentioned here.
Thus the three libraries I had visited the most often were Ruth Tyler, Kearns and West Valley - though Jenna and I found ourselves frequently visiting the Calvin Smith when Roland was working for an agency in a nearby location. All of the other libraries I had gone to were mostly just because I happened to be in the area. We really didn't have to travel from library to library. If, for example, the Herriman library carried a book that I was interested in reading, but not interested in driving all the way to Herriman, I could place an order to pick up the book at the library of my choice. I thought that such a cool feature
I have always been grateful for libraries, but at the same time I may have taken the them for granted. I certainly took the hours for granted. All libraries were open 60 hours a week. Monday-Thursday 10am-9pm; Friday & Saturday 10am-6pm. Our move to Oregon changed that. Oh, the library hours in Salt Lake are the same, but only 20 - 25 hours a week for libraries in Douglas County (see here) I'm happy that Douglas County offers some similar services as Salt Lake as mentioned above or in this post on the library system (Douglas actually works the same way; but far less paid positions than in SLC - many positions in this county are operated through volunteers)
The libraries of Douglas County are no in jeopardy of being closed. We have an opportunity of putting voting to keep the libraries open by accepting an increase in our taxes. I attended a meeting at the end of May and heard one librarian compare our libraries to being on life support. On November 8th we have the option of pulling the plug or keeping the doors open.
I believe in supporting the library system of Douglas County, which is why I'm voting "yes" on November 8th. I would encourage all registered voters of Douglas County to do the same thing. It is important to realize the library provides great resources such as borrowing books and DVDs; there are also computers available to use. Although it is true that not everyone in Douglas County uses or even feels they have a need for the library, let me list some reasons why everyone should vote to keep the libraries open.
To demonstrate some of the reasons for keeping the libraries open, let me share a few examples. For instance, I know some mothers who like to bring their young children in for story time. As a result, it gives the little ones an opportunity to explore through their minds. Additionally, I know even more people who go to the library to use the computers and Wi-Fi, as they don't have personal access. Furthermore, I personally like to go for the variety of books. I think it is great to have the opportunity of borrowing a book and being able to return it for someone else to enjoy. Again, these are just some of the reasons for keeping our libraries open. These are some of the reasons why I'll be voting "yes".
We need to get the word out. I'm doing everything I can on facebook, but as I only know a handful of people, it's definitely going to take just more than my contribution. I hope anyone reading this may pass it on to others who live in this county and help us save our libraries. Thank you.