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Ripley has opportunity to step up for its library

May 12, 2016
Westfield Republican

Dear Editor:

I love living in Ripley. We know our neighbors. We're here for one another. We've got great community spirit.

And now, we have the opportunity to come together and do something really great for our children, our families, our seniors-our community. We can vote on this Tuesday, May 17th to provide community-based funding for the Ripley Library and create a district that will provide elected representation.

A number of libraries in the state are district libraries-this means the public votes on the library's funding and elects trustees. We have the chance to provide stable, sustainable funding for Ripley by voting yes on Tuesday.

The Library is asking for $85,000 in community-based funding. This breaks down to $1.04 per thousand of assessed value. So, if you have a home that is assessed at $60,000, your support of the library would be $62 a year-this amounts to $1.20 a week. Isn't the Library worth the cost of a cup of coffee?

Our Library is a gem. And, it's well worth the investment. All you need to do is check out 3 books or 3 DVDs over the course of the year and you've already broken even compared to what it would cost you to purchase these items in a store or online. Take out 3 books or 3 DVDs a month and you save over $650 a year!

There are some who say we don't need libraries anymore because we have Google. Nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, there are plenty of folks in our community who come to the Library to use the public computers because they don't have a computer and/or internet access at home.

What could be more important than free access to information? What you see on Google is driven by rankings and by those who advertise, and it may or may not be accurate. The information at the Library is free and someone there can help you figure out what information is valid and what isn't.

But, that's not all. Our children come to the Library and learn to love reading. There is nothing more magical than watching the look on a child's face at Story Time or how proud they are to get their library card.

The Library is a special place for our seniors as well. They come to the Library to read the newspaper, have a cup of coffee, socialize and catch up on the local news. The Library is a safe, welcoming place where life-long learning continues.

There are many, many more reasons why we need to strengthen the Ripley Library's financial status. Imagine what could be done with a dedicated funding system that is not totally dependent on fund raising. We can no longer keep going to the same people for private support.

It's time for all of us to step up for the Ripley Library. Join with me and vote yes for the Ripley Library District Initiative on Tuesday, May 17th. The Library's proposition will be on the school district ballot. Vote at the Ripley School from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Together, we can create a stable financial future for the Ripley Library. Vote Yes on Tuesday.

Karen Gunther




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