From Judy Woods
Several months ago I was with a group of my women friends, when one of them said that she thought the community should just drop the idea of moving the library because 90 percent of the people were against it. I think she was surprised by our responses to her statement. (The majority of us were in favor of the move to Lincoln.)
In the newspaper, about seven to 10 different people have strongly expressed their opposition to the move. Some believe that moving the library would be disrespecting the Gibson family. Some believe that because of new technology, libraries are things of the past and will gradually die out. Some are attached to the building and don’t want to change its location. Some think that we should build another addition on the existing library. Some are concerned that taxes will go up.
I have researched their concerns and would like to respond to them.
First concern: The Gibson family gave the library $25,000 in 1931. Twenty years ago, they were contacted when funds for the last addition/renovation were being sought. They stated then that they chose to give to the city of Bartlesville, Okla., as that is where the family resides.
Second concern: It is true that our lives have been changed because of technology. I remember sneaking a flashlight into my bedroom and hiding it and a book under a blanket so that I could read past my bedtime without Mom and Dad telling me to turn out the light and get to sleep. Now I have to chuckle a little bit when my daughter and son-in-law take our twin granddaughters’ phones away at 10 p.m. and say, “Go tosleep!”
Third concern: Yes, libraries have to change to be relevant in the 21st century. They can’t be the libraries that we baby boomers remember. They must offer more, such as providing meeting and learning space, and dedicated spaces for genealogy, for youth, and technology use.
Fourth concern: People are interested in re-purposing the present building.
Fifth concern: Of the eight communities in our area (5,000 to 9,000 pop.), Creston is the largest in population, but spends the least on its library. Also, the present Creston library has the smallest square footage among the eight.
It is estimated that an addition to the present library would cost more than a million dollars, and we would still not have the space needed to provide the services needed. Creston has upgraded the college, the hospital and medical center, the “Y”, The lowana, and our schools. It’s time to upgrade our library.