Library needs to growThe recent brouhaha over the Indianhead Federated Library System report has served only to obscure a more important issue, that of community growth with its accompanying need for enhanced infrastructure.
By: Donna Miller, Town of Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
The recent brouhaha over the Indianhead Federated Library System report has served only to obscure a more important issue, that of community growth with its accompanying need for enhanced infrastructure.
I’ve lived in the town of Hudson for a little over 10 years, and I’ve watched with amazement as the surrounding farms have been turned into subdivisions, and two-lane roads have been replaced with four-lane highways.
The community of greater Hudson has witnessed the building of a new hospital facility, a new elementary school and numerous commercial and industrial facilities on the hill. As the population has grown, so has the infrastructure that is needed to support it.
It is within this context that the Hudson Area Joint Library’s status must be considered. Comparing our local library facility to other libraries seems to result in unproductive arguments about the validity of the statistics presented (no matter who is presenting them!). Why not compare the current status of the library’s service capabilities with that of ten years ago? Has the floor space, staffing, and collection grown as the population of the service area has multiplied? The answer would be “no.”
As local municipalities prepare their budgets for the coming year, they will struggle to allocate funding for all of the demands of their growing communities. It is to be hoped that decisions will be made not in terms of “either-or” but rather in a spirit of community awareness; that all needs will be considered and an attempt made to spread the limited funds equitably.
Our library provides a valuable community service, especially in stressful economic times. Attendance at the children’s Summer Reading Program, for example, is up 300 percent from five years ago, yet the physical space for the programs remains the same.
It is time for the Hudson Area Joint Library to be included in plans for a growing local infrastructure.