RITA CONRAD: Library could be a place of community pride

TO THE EDITOR:

I echo everything Carlleen Rose wrote in her letter to the editor published on June 7, 2012, regarding spending tax dollars on the current Big Rapids Community Library.

What a folly that would be, and to then still have a very old, outdated building with inconvenient access and no gathering place for community residents to utilize and enjoy. The library COULD be a center for community activity and a place of community pride. Currently there is not a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the resources of the library, i.e. a book, newspaper or magazine. Certainly the great programs offered by the library deserve a better facility. We should expect, and support, a library that complements our other great resources that attract residents of the area and visitors alike.

As a current Big Rapids Township resident, I realize that my say in this matter is limited, but as a 22-year former city resident and a very frequent user of this resource, I have long (since serving on the first study committee appointed by Mayor Ed Burch) worked for a district library where we ALL would share in the responsibility and support and pride. It is unfortunate that the Big Rapids school board did not join with the city to give voters a chance to express a preference. Perhaps it is not too late to support this concept.

Finally, the idea that modern technology has or will replace the usefulness of printed materials is shortsighted. We should want to use and embrace all of the opportunities available whether online or in a book, as is demonstrated by computers and the use of technology in the current facility.

Thank you Carlleen for your eloquent words, and to Lorraine James and Dan Rothstein for their courage in not supporting a Band-Aid fix to a very old problem. It is time for more of us who support following the advice of the experts who have been hired over the years to speak up and be heard, and to help plan for that future of which we can indeed be excited.

RITA CONRAD

Big Rapids Township resident

 

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