Below is my letter to the editor of Woodbury Bulletin in response to the news about restoring library hours:
The cover story in Woodbury Bulletin (Oct. 3, 2012) on one-time funding that could restore Sunday and Monday hours at R. H. Stafford Library in 2013 is great news. I am excited to have the Library open 7 days a week again.
On Monday, two days prior to reading the news, I picked up my kids from schools and went to the Library to return and check out books. I was stopped at the Library entrance by the closed door. I forgot that the Library is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Since I moved to Woodbury in 2001, the Library was always open 7 days a week. I could stop by at the Library any day without thinking.
Last year, as part of a cost-saving measure, Sunday and Monday hours were eliminated. But somehow the reality of having a closed Library has never sunk in with me. Several times I found myself standing at the closed door, wondering why the Library was closed and how I could forget it again.
The Library in Woodbury is the center of the community. It’s a place where everyone – young and old, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, republic and democratic, black and white, native and transplanted – is welcomed and treated equally, where access to information and resources is available to anyone whether he can afford it or not.
In times of economic hardship, it’s more important than ever to keep the library open, because people turn to, and depend on their libraries more than ever – for employment and homework resources, reading materials, entertainment, and free Internet access.
Thanks to the Washington County Library Director Pat Conley, board members, County Commissioner Lisa Weik, Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens and everyone who has supported and advocated for the Library, and for helping restore the library hours. You have done a great service for the community.