I want to follow up on your editorial of March 21, 2019, and write about other ways that people give to create a community that we all want to live in. The local public library building built in 1964 is owned by the city, and the city contracts with the North Central Regional Library System for use of the building. That longtime arrangement worked well for fifty years, but changing times, means of communicating and growing population have caused the building to be seriously out of date. The library district population is three times what it was in 1964, but the building is the same size with outdated (and expensive) infrastructure and limited usable space, much of it not ADA-compliant.
Two local organizations support library service in our area. The Friends of the Library are women and men who volunteer at the library, most notably by holding bi-monthly used book sales. People donate their good used books and the Friends resell them at low prices and use the proceeds to sponsor library programs and the Moses Lake Public Library Foundation. Those programs include a preschool literacy fair, adult reading programs, a teen advisory group, Manga Teen Book Club, children’s summer and winter reading programs, Baby Story Time and the library copy machine.
Some Friends of the Library members helped form Moses Lake Public Library Foundation in 2007 with the goal of building a new library. City council support for that idea quickly cooled with the 2008 recession and other money issues. Consultation with architects convinced the MLPLF board that remodeling and updating our architecturally unique library building was a better idea and a concept study was completed to support that idea. The foundation raises money through applying for local grants, holding fund raising events and collecting money from library patrons and local citizens through their Dynamic Donation Machines, which reside at the library and move to businesses around town and at the local farmers market. The problem is that both organizations are seriously in need of new committed volunteers who believe in the value that a good library brings to any community. Being involved in an organization that is dedicated to serving the entire public is personally satisfying and allows you to give back to a community that will grow even better because of the gift of your time.