Of all the investments I make through my local taxes, none is better spent than at our Pulaski County Public Library. Although writer Charles Bullock sought to criticize the library's miniscule increase in revenue (a whopping 6.3 cents from 6.0 cents per $100 value of real estate and 7.6 from 6.3 cents per $100 for personal property--that's PENNIES we're talkin' about, folks), I don't know of anything in our county that is a better BUY--OR more essential to our residents, especially people with limited means who count on the library for its services.
Examples are numerous:
1. I love to read but I can't afford to buy books. Check them out free at the library.
2. I love to listen to audiobooks but the cost is prohibitive. Check them out free at the library.
3. I want my children to have enriched learning opportunities--Infant, toddler & pre-school classes for children ages 6-18 months through toddlers and elementary school age--Music, storytime and parenting classes--free at our local library
4. What can teens do at the local library?--come explore a whole Teen Room with programming for ages 13 to 19 in their own digs in the basement...everything from Wii, to style, to cooking, games and books. Cool stuff at the library.
5. I need to use a computer but don't have one, let alone internet access--Come to the library for not just online access but learn how to prepare a resume, do online job hunting, how to do well in an interview, how to buy or sell on Ebay
6. I'm a senior citizen on fixed income, how can the library help me?--Lots of free classes and clubs from Mystery Book Clubs, free movies, coupon classes, saving seeds, author forums and more
7. I need a free community space for a meeting--Come to the local library to hold your organization's meeting...tables and chairs...projectors and help to use them...kitchen to serve refreshments and even table cloths, dishes and real silver ware. You do have to supply the food and the clean up, but the rest is free.
8. I want my community's historical heritage to be preserved. No problem--Pulaski County Historical Society is in the basement. Come check it out.
9. Friends of the Library also have a bookshop in the basement where great books of all kinds can be bought from 25 cents to a dollar. Wow!--who knew? Now you do.
10. I live out in the county and it's hard for me to get into town to check out books. No problem--there are library locations in Nancy and in Burnside--AND there is a Bookmobile to bring books right to wherever you live!
Books, arts and crafts, programming for both children and adults, public meeting space, historic preservation, author's forums, community computers and online internet access--all in a state of the art building that is equal to any in the Commonwealth--or beyond.
Pulaski County Public Library is a community treasure that will bless generations to come in this community. It was entrusted to us to maintain and preserve for the future and that cannot be done without all of us doing our small part. For the pennies we each invest, we get thousands of dollars in return.
I'm thankful to have a job--unlike some who are not as fortunate; but on the other hand, I haven't received a raise in 3 years and my husband is now retired. So we both are on a fixed income as it were. But that doesn't mean I wish to shirk my duty to pay needed taxes to support valuable services in my community.
Although Oliver Wendell Holmes acknowledged the power of taxes to destroy, he also said "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."
Taxes well spent, preserve our heritage and our children's future. Taxes withheld get us a bridge over the Ohio River between KY and IN that has to be closed because maintenance and repair was not done--costing the economy millions.
I thank the Board of Directors of Pulaski County Public Library who voted to do as recommended by the state and ask for the small increase necessary to meet the needs of our local library. It is the public space in this county of which I am most proud, and which I feel gives back the most to its citizens.