Dear Editor,

In the Aug. 22 article “County library funding may see a cut ... “ by Emily Harwood, county administrators expressed their views about the county library. While Commissioner Steve Gromala recognized the need for a library, Commissioner David Prestin seemed unaware of what a library looks like these days.

Libraries do still provide books, of course. But there’s more. For little ones: Picture books, puzzles, toys, games, puppets, even an indoor “igloo” in winter. Older kids enjoy Story Time or take outdoor story walks. I’ve seen them check out crates of books, with a tote for overflow.

Teens check out books and DVDs. Those without internet service at home do online test prep. They meet with tutors, do online research. The library is a safe place for them to meet with friends. They use the Wi-Fi outdoors after the library has closed.

Senior citizens, the visually impaired, and poor readers choose from a wide selection of large print and audiobooks. They use the internet they don’t have at home. The photocopier and fax machine are always there for everyone.

All of these age groups use the Bookmobile. It makes stops throughout the county, and it reaches people who have a hard time even getting to the library. For some senior citizens, the Bookmobile is the library.

The list of library services goes on and on. It would take pages to describe it all.

Commissioner Larry Schei was right when he foresaw cuts in staff if library funding is cut. The library board, at its meeting of Sept. 3, looked at cutting staff hours, which would naturally lead to cuts in services. They even discussed closing the library on some days of the year. All of those people using all of those services will be affected if staffing is cut.

The Menominee County Board of Commissioners will meet at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10 to finalize budget cuts. To anyone who values libraries: contact your commissioners, in particular commissioners Bill Cech, Larry Johnson Jr., Larry Phelps, Gerald Piche and Prestin, who voted to cut library funding. You’ll find contact information on the Menominee County website. Help save the Menominee County Library.


Karen Kovach