Opportunities abound if sewage plant option includes new library | Publisher's Column

While some people are quick to deem public libraries as obsolete because of the Internet, I believe libraries will forever hold an important place in our society.

No electronic device can replace the experience of reading a real book, magazine or newspaper. Holding a Kindle doesn’t offer the sensation or satisfaction of holding a print edition or provide the distinctively soft rustle that comes from turning a page.

There’s no doubt, however, that libraries have evolved from places where you whisper as you search through banks of Dewey-decimal coded card catalogs to modern hubs bustling with activity.

A sewer plant option under consideration by the city is an intriguing one that would include the purchase of a building that could potentially house the public library.

The current library is 11,000 square feet.

Oak Harbor Managing Librarian Mary Campbell said the facility is in need of between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet.

“There’s some conflict between those who expect a really quiet library and those who bring the kids and consider the library a community meeting space,” she said.

The idea of incorporating a new library into a new sewer plant for Oak Harbor offers an abundance of possibilities.

Most modern libraries not only have a wealth of technology at patrons’ disposal, they offer unique nooks and spaces, modern, comfortable furniture to curl up in with a good book and private study rooms for students.

Some nice features of some newer libraries is incorporation of a “living room,” which allows for gatherings, as well as special children’s areas with room to play.

If the City of Oak Harbor moves ahead with the option that includes a larger building for the library, there is undoubtedly support — financial and otherwise — to be found within the community to ensure the new facility is one that meets the wants and demands of the modern user.

A public library is a community asset, and it’s well worth an investment in effort, money and resources by the community.


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