catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 10, Num 16 :: 2011.09.16 — 2011.09.29


It’s time for a walk

A couple of months ago as I walked into my local library they asked me where I was from.  They were taking a survey to see where the library patrons lived.  Our branch is part of a county library system that has eleven branches and each branch was surveying the patrons.  It was interesting to see how many people were utilizing our library as well as where they were from, but as I talked with the librarians about the results, I also found out some information that I was not happy to hear.

My library branch is less than a five-minute walk from my house.  Since my wife and I moved to our home in 2009, we have used our library extensively.  The library itself is not very big (fewer than 1,000 square feet), but it has a decent number of books and movies to check out.  Also, since it is one of many branches in the county system we can place holds on books from other branches and they are brought to our local branch for us to check out at no cost.  It’s a great system, and I walk there at least once a week to pick up books, read the newspaper and check out DVDs.

So when the librarians told me that the county library was checking patron usage because they were thinking of consolidating branches, I was not happy.  In fact, they had already purchased a piece of land a couple of miles from my house that they would probably use to consolidate my branch with another nearby branch. It was tough news to hear, and I was at a loss for words. 

In the couple of years we’ve lived in our home, the library has become one of our favorite places to visit.  The primary reason we visit it so often is because it is within walking distance.  It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, you will find me there at least once a week.  I know the librarians and many of the other patrons.  I look forward to visiting the library and getting books on whatever topic I’m interested in at the time.

Apparently, that is not enough; I’m not enough.  While I regularly use our branch, not enough people do. If I’m really honest with myself, I will admit that the move to consolidation will probably happen.  The library that I love to walk to will no longer be within walking distance of my house.

Hopefully, other folks start to use the library more, and our branch stays where it is.  It’s a great resource for our community, and if the branch is moves, I will miss my weekly walk.  Maybe I need to start walking down there more frequently and inviting others to come with me when I do.  In fact, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  It’s time for a walk.

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