Thursday, September 9, 2010

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,
What would your community be like without a public library? It sounds a little melodramatic, but just consider what would be lost - - a major public service that offers free computer and Wireless access, reference assistance, fax and copy machines, early literacy programs, family game and movie night, Lunching with Books and Lagniappe programs, a meeting room, and, of course, books, audios, DVDs, etc. for both education and recreation.

Even if you don’t personally use the library, you probably know some of the over 300 people a day who do – that’s 106,000 visits to the Pontotoc Library in the past year.

It is no secret that tax revenues have been low – this directly affects the public funding that we receive from both the State of Mississippi and local authorities. We hesitate to admit that the local library needs a community fundraising effort. We’ve done such a good job of ‘making do’ that we have managed to keep most people from even realizing that we are having trouble making ends meet. The time has come when we have cut all that we can cut; more library services will suffer if we have to make further reductions.

Regular customers may have noticed:
Fewer staff – two positions have been cut – means longer lines to get help or check out.
More people – especially computer users, who search and apply for jobs, take online classes, or use the library as an office.
Less comfort – some have asked, why is it so hot, and, do we have to use that loud fan?
And - Where are the new books? - The book budget is gone - we will depend on donations and fundraisers this year.

“What can one person do?”
1. Become an advocate - Join the Friends of Pontotoc County Library – come to a planning meeting after Lunching with Books this Thursday, September 9.
2. Let your aldermen and supervisors know how much this home town library means to you.
3. Consider a tax-deductible donation, no matter how small, to the Friends of the Pontotoc County Library.

We ask your support as we plan for the well-being of the Library and our community.

Judy McNeece, Director
Dixie Regional Library System

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