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Jamestown needs a new library for the community

There are many reasons to build a new library. First and foremost, combining the city and the county libraries several years ago was a good idea in many ways, but as both libraries were already bursting at the seams, the space problems were severely aggravated.

Second, the existing Alfred Dickey Library was built with the needs of the 20th century in mind, and we are well past that now. Our community, and especially our children, needs a library that meets the needs of the 21st century.

I know that in the age of the Internet there is a popular misconception that everything one needs to read is available online and that physical spaces are no longer necessary. But this is not the case. The library is a space that provides computer access for people who cannot afford it in their homes, allowing them to further their educations and apply for jobs.

The library is also a space that provides a safe haven for children after school, where they can finish their homework and conduct research for their papers. The library provides a place for story times and other programing for all ages. The library saves the history of the area by collecting and curating rare and unique materials for the future.

The library as an electronic broker provides access to databases that individuals could not otherwise access. The library as an electronic broker provides e-books for download 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The library as a broker provides books, newspapers, journals, recorded books and music, DVDs and a host of other things to the residents of Jamestown and surrounding communities. It is a major component in maintaining the common good in a community.

Library circulation is up around the country, as well as in Jamestown. To acknowledge that and to see library services to the community increase in the future, Jamestown needs a new public library. I hope that you will join in helping to make a new library a reality.