Residents can be proud of public library

Re: “Concerned About Library Changes” (Letters, May 29)

Two weeks ago, I went to the Tech Team’s presentation on downloading books and movies to at least learn more about digitized resources. No, I don’t own a Kindle although I might if I were still in the workforce.

Although I stream movies, I love old-fashioned print books, so I was cheered by a woman my age at the Tech Team workshop who announced proudly she’d just borrowed a book from the New York Public Library courtesy of the Anacortes library. Interlibrary Loan depends on the storage capacity of an international chain of cooperating libraries. New York Public Library has had to put half of its 2.5 million volumes in New Jersey because the main library on Fifth Avenue plus its five research libraries in New York cannot hold its collection, and even then the costs are prohibitive. (New York Times)

Print books aren’t disappearing, but the cost of storing and retrieving them is skyrocketing. Our library owns a lot of them but not an exhaustive set. Anyone locally wanting critically esteemed ­—aka “classic” — books will likely find them to own through the library’s FriendShop or Pelican Bay Books.

By Interlibrary Loan, the library lends books free of charge.

From the time the present library was being planned, in the 1990s, through the community focus groups to the Strategic Plan and the architects’ recent charrettes, input from Anacortes taxpayers has been solicited. The library opened in 2003. Money from the bond issue not spent then was set aside for future “hammer and nail” updates as needed. Now they are needed, and the funding is there.

Anacortes can be proud of its nationally known Family Place Library, as evidenced in the children’s area particularly. There, families with young children can find a warm welcome, furniture, toys and costumes for role playing plus free professional guidance from clinicians and therapists to support healthy families.

This introduction to lifelong good health and learning for preschoolers is key to their personal and academic success. Families are Anacortes’ future.

Kay O’Connell

Anacortes Friends of the Library, president

Thanks for supporting local library

I would like to commend our mayor and City Council for supporting our public library.

I submit the library is the intellectual center of the community with more collective knowledge than any other place in our city. The library is blessed with strong leadership and a competent, caring and nurturing staff. Thank you Anacortes for this treasure.

Robert Maxson

Anacortes

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