When the community decided some years ago to embark upon the task of funding a library building, I was in support. The project struck a lot of us as ambitiously large, and many expressed concern as to whether or not the space contemplated would ever be truly necessary, but what the hell.
None of us at that time, supporters or detractors, (the issue passed by a single vote), could ever have imagined what a satisfying success our Wilkinson Public Library would become. None of us could have foreseen that the library would evolve into an essential element of the community, so full of life (highest per capacity use in the state), that it is frequently cited as one of our most successful civic projects.
Nor, I suspect, did we in those more innocent early days when the old library operated a couple of days a week out of the one-room former jail, imagine what a modern library, run by a sophisticated staff, could provide. The Wilkinson now offers programming (and “personal” support) for kids and adults that spans, and fuels, the curiosity of our diverse community.
Borrow a book, sure, but so too music, movies, research assistance, lectures, festival programming, authors, lectures, meeting rooms, "sublimely" thoughtful children’s plays and readings, technical training, cooking, computer or language classes, a zillion necessary support groups, and a cornucopia of activities that make living here, and visiting here, so much richer.
And the library has taken care of business. They long since retired their original debt, haven’t sought a mill levy increase in more than 20 years, and yet have continued to expand services that keep its cutting edge, responsive to ever varying community needs, and perhaps most importantly, an incredibly homey place to spend time.
The people who work at the library visibly love what they do, the people they do it with and the people for whom they do it. Go in there with any need, and someone, pleasantly, warmly, will help you get it done.
The ask from the library, precipitated by the ongoing TABOR/Gallagher mess, is equivalent to the cost of a beer and a hamburger. I like my beer and hamburgers, but I am equally needy of a facility that provides all that the Wilkinson does for its users and does so with a kind of laid back expertise that does us all proud.
Please join me in voting a hearty yes on Ballot Issue 6A.