This opinion piece appeared in today's Post-Crescent, and indicates a good understanding of the value of public libraries, as well as current community needs. Thanks, Post-Crescent!
Posted November 5, 2007
Editorial: Library study needed to best serve city
A public library is a vital part of any community. It's a gateway to reading, but it's much more than that. It's a gateway to learning, through all sorts of media. It's a gateway to technology. And it's a community center — a place to meet, a place to be, where all are welcome.
The Appleton Public Library is no exception. It's one of the centers of the city. But the time has come to explore whether the library is meeting the needs of city residents.
Appleton has grown a lot since the library was built, in 1981, and slightly expanded, in 1996. More people are using the library, and the library has more to offer people. As a result, space in the building has become a problem.
The city's 2008 budget proposal includes $50,000 for a space needs study of the library — an idea we heartily endorse.
The importance of the study is not so much what the space needs are today, but what they'll be in the future. Expansion of some sort will be needed someday. But what kind of expansion would be best to serve the changing community?
Since any proposal, realistically, wouldn't become a reality for several years, the time is right now to conduct the study.
The library's long-range plan maps out a course. This study is needed to determine what kind of building is needed to follow that course.
The Common Council should keep the library study in the 2008 budget.