Knowing that budgetary cuts are influencing business practices, locally and globally, as a necessary step in economic recovery still does not remove the huge sting of our local library’s dollar condition.
Although, admittedly, most of my books come from Goodwill and ultimately cycle back there, I am a die-hard patron of the many other resources at Schlow Centre Region Library.
When I walk through the doors, I see folks carefully perusing the shelves, children joyfully tagging alongside their parents, welcoming staff, Penn State students studying intently upstairs in front of the well-lighted tables that backdrop Allen Street, and those simply seeking a quiet refuge from their daily lives.
Libraries are one of our last free institutions — yes, institutions — where community members come together for a common cause.
Some ideas to ponder:
Seek out more volunteers. Our community has many retirees and those with time to donate (myself included).
Consider marketing to that target group. This wouldn’t have to be an expensive pursuit. Seek out schools willing to exercise democratic voice with action by making appropriate solicitation posters.
Make it exciting! Hold a poster contest.
Have students write letters to our officials. How about a bake sale? An auction? There is much to be said for grass-roots practice, and much to be gained.
After all, libraries are public. Let’s put in place actions that uphold the vision of free — well, almost free — resources for our community by sustaining practices reflective of that vision.