From the Library Director – September 15, 2014

Once in a while we will get someone who asks us why we need more space or want to move to a different location.  There are many reason, but here are a few to get Lebanon thinking.

  • Because public libraries inspire and empower communities. Everyone is welcome and they play an important role for individuals as well as supporting other civic groups, but it is difficult to accomplish this in a tiny space.
  • Because children’s programs as well as adult programs require space and sound proofing measures.
  • The Illinois State Library suggests the minimum amount of space at 1 square foot per number of people in the community.  As we also have a college students who use the library and live in town that puts us at needing at least 5,000 square feet.  We currently have about 1,400. Some area libraries have over 2 sq. ft. per person.
  • At busy times, that 1,400 square feet feels more like 900.
  • With 5-10 excited children at story time, it feels and sounds like even less.
  • As Lebanon continues to grow it will need more space to meet the needs of job seekers, resume builders, and online students.  Not everyone can afford a computer and internet to accomplish these tasks and yet each person working on these tasks has the potential to be a productive and employed person.  They just need the tools to get to that stage.
  • Because the renovations to the current library were done in 1999 which includes the carpet which is wearing out and there are several physical challenges with the current building.
  • The public library is the heart of the community bringing people together in ways that no other community organization does.  In many small towns the library must do double duty as a civic center and senior citizen centers when no other ones exists.
  • More jobs, higher property value, better educational resources . . .the public library plays an important role in all of it.  Many studies support the idea that money spent on libraries provide a solid economic return to the community.
  • Having an excellent library is appealing to many who are looking at buying a home in a new town especially home educators.  Currently many of our home educators  as well as others take their families to bigger libraries in nearby towns.
  • Thriving towns have thriving libraries.
  • Literate children grow up to be literate, employable adults. Until next week, read another good book and support future library events.