Li­brary Board

Kent County News - - OPINION -

To the ed­i­tor: In a com­mu­nity where there is no ab­sence of op­por­tu­nity for stew­ard­ship, how does one choose the most per­son­ally suited seat of civic duty? How does one nar­row the field in choos­ing a role of re­spon­si­ble over­sight in pro­tec­tion of a com­mu­nity as­set that one con­sid­ers worth car­ing for and pre­serv­ing?

If, like me, you are grate­ful for life in a beau­ti­ful place where you en­joy good health and en­riched op­por­tu­nity, you may be feel­ing a need to sig­nif­i­cantly give back. I strongly en­cour­age you to join a team that pro­tects and pre­serves one of the most val­ued com­mu­nity re­sources — the Kent County Pub­lic Li­brary.

For over 60 years, the lo­cal li­brary has cer­tainly been a repos­i­tory of knowl­edge. But now, the li­brary is more nim­ble and qui­etly re­spon­sive to com­mu­nity needs. The li­brary mis­sion is more about build­ing hu­mans and less about build­ing col­lec­tions.

In our county where 66 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion have ac­tive li­brary cards, where over 100,000 li­brary vis­its were recorded last year, where over 5,000 cit­i­zens uti­lized meet­ing room space through­out the year, the li­brary is a sa­cred space.

From early lit­er­acy ini­tia­tives to com­puter skills classes, book dis­cus­sion groups to free on­line in­struc­tor-led classes, li­brary pro­grams en­cour­age life­long learn­ing, pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment, and cre­ate com­mu­nity con­nec­tion. Com­mu­nity aware­ness fu­els the li­brary’s strate­gic plan­ning process. The li­brary has be­come a multi-pur­posed des­ti­na­tion — pro­vid­ing much bang for the tax-payer buck.

The trustees’ crit­i­cal role in reimag­in­ing and re­brand­ing this val­ued pub­lic space while at­tend­ing to es­sen­tial fidu­ciary re­spon­si­bil­ity is an im­por­tant call­ing with mul­ti­ple re­wards. To­day, trustees are the chief ad­vo­cates for en­riched com­mu­nity re­sources that prop­erly ad­dress the com­mu­nity’s crit­i­cal chal­lenges. Trustees do­nate time and ef­fort as keep­ers of an im­por­tant faith that the li­brary is the town hall, the com­mu­nity cen­ter and the col­lab­o­ra­tive space — an an­ti­dote to some of the iso­la­tion that the dig­i­tal world has cre­ated.

In short, trustees over­see the prin­ci­ples at the heart of the li­brary’s mis­sion — safe ac­cess and rel­e­vant op­por­tu­nity: where all Kent County cit­i­zens are of­fered a seat at the ta­ble and are treated with the same dig­nity and re­spect.

The Board of Li­brary Trustees will be ac­cept­ing trustee ap­pli­ca­tions in an ex­tended pe­riod through Fri­day, Nov. 11. This is an im­por­tant call­ing. Act to- day. Down­load an ap­pli­ca­tion at www. kent­countyli­brary.org or just stop in at 408 High St. in Ch­ester­town to re­quest a hard copy. Barb Mac­beth Pres­i­dent Board of Li­brary Trustees Kent County Pub­lic Li­brary

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