The Union Recorder

Opinion

September 22, 2012

Community, library need each other

MILLEDGEVILLE — For more than three decades, the annual library fair has served as a fundraiser for the Twin Lakes Library System and its efforts to provide for the local community.

Thousands of used books will be available for purchase later today, as will baked goods and other items with all of the proceeds going toward the library’s vacation reading program, which serves local youth and adults through the summer months. The Twin Lakes Library System reaches readers of all ages throughout Baldwin County, serving as a research for books and materials and technology through computer training courses.

We often don’t stop day to day to think about what a valuable resource our local libraries provide — glimpses into the past through their archives, glances at other regions of the world, as well as a leisurely escape through reading and entertainment. It is true that we often don’t think of what our libraries provide — until their value is grossly affected. In recent years, the local library system, like many other entities that rely on state funding, has been hit with budget cuts and reduced funding. We saw just this week how these types of tough decisions can play out on the state level as public access to Georgia’s historical archives were placed in peril due to cost-saving measures. It was only through public outcry that access was saved when Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday that the archives will be fully funded. It took nearly losing the state’s archives as a valuable resource for our history and information for Georgians to recognize their importance. Although their funding has been tremendously impacted due to state cuts, our local libraries remain intact, a fact that should not go unnoticed by the local community. We mustn’t wait until their value is jeopardized before we show our support. Today’s library fair, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. downtown at Mary Vinson Memorial Library, is a great way to lend that necessary support.

As local library outreach coordinator Sarah Hamil said earlier this week, the event “is also a chance for us to give thanks to the community. Without the public, this library would not survive.”

Our local libraries do need us in order to survive, and this community certainly needs them.

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