Saturday, October 22, 2005
Every community with outstanding public spaces makes a statement about itself. A well designed and staffed courthouse, post office, library, and recreational facilities tell residents and visitors alike that the people who live here care enough about each other. They make the small sacrifices necessary to build a home in which their children will want to remain, and which visitors will admire. The Greeks and Romans understood this. Other societies have followed their example.
The Bud Werner Library has served us well. But now, it's getting behind the county growth curve. It needs more space for books, more computers for research and communication with the global economy. The current building requires significant repairs. Expansion of the library is not just for one group of citizens. If 5A and 5B are approved on November 1st everyone wins. Good libraries testify to a community's dedication to lifelong learning and to a rejection of isolation. The forum that best generates this mixture is a vibrant, well-supplied public library that provides the tools and an ambience in which all of us can do our best work. Daily use figures for the present library make clear the fact that our community is outgrowing the facility on which we depend so heavily.
When you visit our library, you can feel how crowded it is. I strongly support 5A and 5B. I could do no less as an educator. But my message to the community is that no matter your age or profession, the small sacrifice you make as a property owner to approve this expansion is, in effect, an even bigger vote for Steamboat Springs. A first class library sends a message that we have our community priorities in order.