Thursday, October 20, 2016

I can remember getting my first library card. Like many little girls, I had purses I’d carry around with nothing of importance in them: maybe some lip balm, some ponytail holders or fruit roll-ups. My first library card was also my first step into being big. With it, besides being able to finally have something other than toys in my wallet, came great responsibility, as my parents taught me.

Whatever I checked out from the library had to be returned on time. If it wasn’t, I was responsible for paying the late fee. I remember paying a lot of late fees, scrounging through couch cushions and the corner of my closet for loose change to pay off my fines. I just never could get the hang of reading all the books (way too many than one kid can possibly get through) in a timely fashion.

So, from an early age, I guess you could say I have invested in our public library system. As a kid, I remember when the Grandview library moved from the west side of the highway to the brand new building on Booth Lane, where it still sits today.

As an adult, I’m still a library believer and lover, though I don’t step foot inside nearly as often as I used to. Being a newspaper girl who believes in print, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I read most of my novels on my Kindle. Several years ago, I discovered that I could request and download books straight onto my device through the public library at no charge. I was hooked.

As a mom, I knew the importance and rite of passage signing my son up for his first library card was. Along with a two-of-hearts from a deck of cards and zero-balance gift cards, the library card is
tucked away in Michael’s little wallet.

The library is not the same as it used to be. Along with a hardback and paperback, they now have to buy the eBook, and the audiobook, and the eAudiobook, and the large print format, and so on and so on. As technology changes, the cost to our public libraries continues to grow. I am in full support of Proposition L, if for no other reason that to see offered to my child the same (albeit upgraded and updated) library experiences I had growing up. I’ll be voting yes on November 9, in support of Mid-Continent Public Library’s plans for better facilities, services and materials at a cost of less than the price of one new book.

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