I’ve long said that I believe libraries have saved my life. I stand by that. I think of what my life might have been if I’d never discovered libraries … so pale. With libraries – the world… the universe, is mine to explore, to revel in … FOR FREE! I remain, sixty-some years later, delighted and enduringly enchanted, challenged, enlightened etc. I love libraries.
On first coming to Columbus (1991) I asked after the library and became a volunteer (my M.O. wherever I lived). It was fairly pitiful, primarily paperbacks and those primarily westerns and romances – with the odd, donated other bits and some ancient encyclopedias. Nothing wrong with that, just less than representative of the richness of most libraries. It was a time of change though; a new (historic) building was coming available. A bar was shutting down – some tension around that of course. Having a library as “the heart” of the Village – rather than the bar – was a big, positive shift.
Early days were fraught… still, now, after many ups and downs, changes and shifts – we are a small, vibrant, center-of-the-community….surviving! library. Hooray. I love our library.
Columbus has been my base for nearly 30 years now. I have come and gone (the call of family) and am just recently back after a decade in the Pacific Northwest. Before I left last time I was volunteering at the library 20 hours a week. I even took an exam, that was then available, and gained a certificate from the state of NM – that authorized me for the job of Librarian anywhere in NM. This was because there were so few degreed librarians in NM. But, I didn’t want to take a job somewhere else, just to support The Village of Columbus Library as I was able.
I saw kids, who didn’t have access to the internet other than the library, become facile with internet and find themselves the first in their families to attend college – because they could get the application forms and get help understanding them – at the library. Many other stories – but those kids remain my favorite.
If we didn’t have a library or if it were diminished, the hole created would be huge, relative to the community. That is my reason for joining FOCL and agreeing to become treasurer. I am happy to be here and working for the health and furtherance of the library.