Public libraries do excellent job

As a member of the Columbiana Library Board, I want to express my gratitude for the outstanding jobs Director Jane Bailey and her staff — Shelia Gallups, Barbara Todd, Agnes Pool and Retta Authier — do at the Columbiana Public Library.

You might be surprised at the number of lives the library and these ladies touch. Consider statistics for just one month, March 2010. During this one month alone, 1,115 used our library’s 10 computers. Also during March, our library’s circulation totaled 6,522 books in addition to 521 books loaned to other libraries. The library is not just books and computers. Columbiana Library patrons’ lives are enhanced through the numerous on-going, stimulating, educational, skill-building, and thought-provoking programs and activities offered throughout the year.

Jane and her staff plan, coordinate, and are involved in continuing programs such as preschool story times, knitting classes, quilting for kids, book study group and other educational programs. During March 2010 these activities involved 226 citizens from the community. In addition, special programs at the library involved another 50 participants. The upcoming Summer Reading Program is another much-anticipated library event that stimulates Columbiana children’s lives.

The viability of the Columbiana Library is a reflection of the hard work and often self-sacrifice of Ms. Bailey and her staff. The library staff routinely goes beyond expectations and even endures out-of-pocket expenses for things like popcorn treats and drinks for children’s programs.

Due to dire economic conditions, Ms Bailey was recently asked to reduce her budget by $12,500. Book purchases, publications, maintenance and repair, training and travel will all be affected.

Thankfully, at this time no staff cuts are being made. However, we cannot expect our library to maintain its current level of excellence with fewer resources.

Columbiana is a wonderful place to live, and the Columbiana Public Library is one of our strongest assets. We must do whatever it takes to protect and support this valuable institution.

Find out what you can do to help our Columbiana Public Library. Now more than ever, we need to buy locally and support local businesses and Columbiana’s tax base. Donate to the library.

Join the Friends of the Library, a support group that offers volunteer manpower and raises money for library projects.

Tell your City Council representation how much the Columbiana Library means to you. At the very least, tell the librarians how much you appreciate them.