Guest Blogger – Clarice Liechty – An Informed Resident

About 20 years ago, when working on a Masters in Management class which required a paper and persuasive presentation, for my project, I chose combining the two libraries – the Stutsman County library and the city’s Alfred Dickey Library.
After that, I got involved in the process of working on combining these libraries and the plans to build a new library.  With much opposition, it has taken us this long to get us to where we are today – not only on the path to having in place the plans, but also having a plan for the funding of the building of a new library and having a very much needed improved library system for Jamestown and the Stutsman County.
It took me a while – not 20 years – to come on board with the idea of building the new library on the old Essentia lot.  I too thought other sites would be better – closer downtown, enhancing the downtown area.  I have come to believe that building on the Essentia lot is the best –  a block from the junior high and a short walk from the Catholic grade school.  It will be a great place for kids (children, if you prefer)  to have a place to go after school to just read, to study, to think – to see that there are other kids who actually read.   It is a place for me (and there are many me’s in Jamestown) to go to actually hold a book in my hands, page through the books,  and choose one or a number of them to read or not read.  Something one cannot get on ones electronic devices. The battery on the physical book does not go dead as my Kindle does.
I have 4 granddaughters (22, 19, 17, &14) who grew up going to the library, choosing books, and reading to learn and reading for fun.  If they had just read from an electronic device, it is possible they would not have explored other interests.  Consider going to the library as “just shopping”.  Learning what is out there, what the options are,  accidently or inadvertently finding something you didn’t know existed.
In 20 more years I will be 92.  One of my grandmothers lived to the age of 102. She still had a good mind when she died. It is my hope that, at that age, I will still be reading and learning.   I do hope that I do not have to wait another 20 years (or 30) until we get a library system that works for all of us. Electronic devices do have a place, but they are only one or two segments used in transferring information.  Public libraries are for all ages no matter what ones income level or status in life is – no Kindle/nook/ipad or whatever needed.
I guess I made more than one comment.  But that is me.