Sometimes people dont realize the value of something until its gone.
In Osceola Mills, thats a lesson that might be hitting home soon.
I was 15 when my family moved to Osceola Mills. New places always take some adjustment, but taking a high school girl away from a home just around the corner from a mall is almost traumatizing.
There was almost nothing that could take that sting away. Except a library a little more than a block from the front door.
Back then, it was a tiny storefront on Curtin Street, a long skinny room packed with bookshelves. I worked my way through Stephen King, Martha Stewart and a slew of biographies of British royalty.
I was in college when the Brisbin House was restored to its coal baron glory. The Victorian mansion became the home of meeting space, the historical foundations museum collection and, front and center, a larger, more accessible library with space to stretch out and explore the books, computers to help find them, and more. The move let the Osceola Mills Story Hour come into its own as a popular preschool experience.
But the past decade has been challenging for libraries. Pitched battles between the governor and legislators over budgets have hit nonessential programs hard and made the programs wring every penny they could out of a dollar. No matter how special a library might be, sometimes tough choices are made and doors are closed.
At the end of June, Osceola Mills will no longer have a library, but will instead be served by the Clearfield County Library Systems bookmobile. On Saturday, residents will get a chance to explore that service when the bookmobile attends a going-away party of sorts for the library. The festivities will begin at 10 a.m. and will include cloggers, martial arts demonstrations, bake sales and more.
Supporters havent given up hope of finding a way to keep a local library. Donations for that effort will be accepted, and help will be welcomed. Whether you want to lend a hand or just say goodbye, stop by to visit a bookish old friend.
Lori Falce writes weekly about the Rush Township/Philipsburg area. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.