The Great Equalizer
I am often asked why libraries matter in our frenzied, Google-based world of up-to-the-minute information. The truth is that we are busier than ever and not just with people seeking to use our computers. Our libraries are checking out more books and movies, seeing greater attendance at programs and assisting people with their job searches, resume writing and career development. Many of you recognize that libraries are a great community resource for these reasons but some of you may need a little more convincing, so here goes:
I see libraries as the great equalizer, the place where anyone and everyone can seek answers, resources and entertainment, without worrying about whether or not they can afford it. Are libraries free? Absolutely not. Your tax support pays for what you see on our shelves and for the staff that's there to help you. Are libraries a bargain? Absolutely! Imagine any other resource that gives you access to almost any book on any subject in the world with nothing more than a library card. Beyond that, we offer computers and wi-fi, meeting space, reader's advisory, reference, photocopies and faxes, local history, and much more. In our new facilities, we are trying to create community space that also allows for social interaction, quiet study, and special events. We want the libraries to become a hub, not just in the sense of being the place that everyone uses, but because it's the ideal place in the community to serve as its center.
We have many big things coming your way. This new web site, a new interface for the Marmot catalog, self-check and digital download stations. Some of these things will be phased in as we build new libraries and some, such as self-check, are at all six locations this fall. I hope you will visit all of your Garfield County Libraries and let me know what you think. We want you to be part of our success.