Letters to the Editor

Public libraries know what a word’s worth

There are many reasons to celebrate public libraries as the best of the best. For example, on March 1, Morro Bay celebrated the “grand opening” of its new, completely redesigned and redecorated public library.

While the building itself is not larger, the redesign planners (architect Shana Reiss; Friends of the Library led by Robert “Red” Davis; library staff headed by Jackie Kinsey; and ably managed by San Luis Obispo County Library Director Chris Barnickel) have created a beautiful, engaging and userfriendly space within the skin of the mid-1980s building.

I salute the city of Morro Bay, its residents and the San Luis Obispo County government for supporting this improvement to a vital community asset.

I highly recommend you visit this “new” library; you will be glad you did.

Over the past 20 years or so, total branch library building space in the county has increased by over 50 percent, amounting to approximately an additional 30,000 square feet for library users. Everyone knows the hard budget times that occurred during this timeframe. Did I mention that a host of new services were also inaugurated during this time, including services that save people’s time by providing access to the library from remote locations? Recently, open hours have expanded and the $1 request fee went away. Wow!

People in San Luis Obispo County believe in strong public libraries because they believe in strong communities.

This belief holds true even for people who don’t normally use a public library. More examples: Although not part of the county system, Grover Beach has had its own volunteer-run library for years because of an active friends group and support from the Clark family. Additionally, After a hiatus of 30 years, public library services were restored in Oceano, thanks to Assemblyman (then-Supervisor) Katcho Achadjian, dedicated friends of the library groups, library administration and a host of community activists.

Branch libraries west, east, north and south have expanded, ranging from Creston and Cayucos to Cambria and Nipomo.

Public libraries are where people help people become the best they can be. Can you name any other place or space where a person can spend all day, inside, out of the weather, free of charge?

Public libraries are too often a community’s best kept secret; this is not true in San Luis Obispo County.

This month, The Rotarian (Rotary International’s monthly magazine), features a public library on its cover and inside, as well.

As a Rotarian for over 30 years, this focus on a wonderful community resource makes me proud.

The residents of San Luis Obispo County have made great choices by supporting their public libraries!