The Times 

Support for a staple of the community

 

August 10, 2023



Editor,

I am very concerned over the unrest with the Columbia County Rural Library District and the petition to dissolve the rural library district. Our library serves many people in our community of all ages. I do realize that there is an issue with some of the books and what age level they have been accessible to. It is certainly cause for concern, but abandoning the library is a drastic measure and would leave a very large hole in our community. The library offers the ability to make copies, access to computers, books, movies, early education games, and toys, a summer reading program, newspaper archives, old county records, ebooks, and audiobooks, and a lending program for tools and home goods. It also provides the Delany Building as a place for people to gather for many different kinds of events. I understand there is alarm over the library budget. I would like to present some facts on expenses incurred by the library over the last several years. These numbers were provided by the Columbia County Treasurer. 2018 - $460,886.57, 2019 - $385,410.61, 2020 - $459,616.07, 2021 – 464,248.51, 2022 - $461,377.66. And as of August 3, 2023, $227,321.50 has been spent. I hope this will clarify any misleading information on how much we are being led to believe is being spent. I sincerely hope that the people of our community can come together to find an acceptable solution short of wiping out an institution that has been a staple in our town since 1937.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Schlenz

Dayton, Wash.

 

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