New library plan aligns with Chamber focus

July 17, 2017

As executive director of the Carroll Chamber of Commerce, part of my role is to measure our work on a daily basis, as it compares to our focus and mission.

For the Chamber, that focus is “promoting Carroll area businesses and developing community assets and resources to encourage growth within the area.”

As we debate the new library plans and pending referendum, I can’t think of a better example of developing community assets and resources to encourage growth than to vote yes on Aug. 1 in favor of a newer, more community-minded, resource-rich and accessible library facility for our residents.

The most important assets of any community are the residents, and I don’t think anyone can disagree that libraries are great tools for personal and individual development.

In Carroll, we’re fortunate enough to have a progressive staff that frequently hosts story times, visits with Dr. Whoot, IPTV stops, STEM workshops, adult book clubs, walk-in tech help, craft hours and more.

The programming offered not only helps educate, but it also serves a social feature. In the words of Robert Putnam, “People may go to the library looking for information, but they find each other there.”

In libraries, community-building connections are happening all the time.

A yes vote on Aug. 1 would give our current library the space needed to grow educational and community opportunities with additional space and meeting rooms to gather, and provide a greater capacity for reading and learning materials. And because library services are free, not many people consider the role the library plays in our economy.

In any community, libraries play a key role in financially strengthening the local economy. Libraries provide a work space for telecommuters, supply free internet access for people looking for employment opportunities and even job and career resources.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), 48 percent of libraries provide access and assistance to…

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