2009-02-21 / Editorials & Letters

Future of Buckeye Lake Library is bright with your help

Editor:

I want to respond to the rumors going around about the Buckeye Lake Library.

Thanks to the recession, we all are facing financial challenges and the Licking County Library system is no exception. Cuts have been made across the entire system in Licking County.

At the Buckeye Lake Library, some staff positions were cut and we lost some wonderful people. We will surely miss them and hated to see them go. Similar tough cuts were made at other branches and at the main library in Newark. All the branches are sharing the pain.

Last week's letter from Katrina and Jamey Sims summed up how many of us feel about our library and its staff. I thank them for taking the time to share their experiences and explain why it's so important to keep our library open.

Aside from the loss of some very dedicated staff members, neither programs nor the number of books in the library have been cut. Library hours have actually increased. Rather than closing at 3 p.m. on Fridays, the library is now open to 5 p.m. Hours are: Monday through Thursday - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday - 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The Buckeye Lake Library is the result of a unique partnership with our community. Unlike most other branches in Licking County, the Buckeye Lake community is responsible for the building and its operating expenses, including utilities, insurance, maintenance and repairs, and supplies. The Friends of Buckeye Lake Library have committed to pay these expenses.

That money comes from membership fees, sale of discount cards and a few fund raisers such as those sponsored by Mantonya Chiropractic. This is truly a continuing community effort.

Community support is a critical part of keeping our library open. Thanks to a dedicated board and a small group of volunteers, we are continuing to meet our obligations. Right now, our biggest challenge is finding a larger building with a more visible location for an expanded library. Your library is outgrowing its home.

On one hand, it's a great problem to have after just three years when some wondered whether there would be much interest in a library here. But it is also our biggest challenge since getting the library established.

The Friends are always looking for more Friends and volunteers. Your library is making a difference across all age levels. It is a tremendous resource for us all. It takes a continuing community effort to pay our bills every month. Please call me if you would like to help us with a fund raiser or a donation. My number is (740) 928-4774.

Pam Reed, President Friends of Buckeye Lake Library

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