Letter: Read up on the library


In his letter last Friday, Steve Willson revisited old complaints. I have no idea how he computes his stated cost to taxpayers for the Crystal Lake Library to buy a single book. Does that number decrease if 20 people check out the same book?

Do his figures account for the library’s online databases, subscriptions, computers, internet access, story times, programs, home delivery to shut-ins and senior residences, classes and lectures on countless topics, a space to gather with others to practice a craft, share an interest or hobby, watch and discuss a movie? A staff ready to offer professional help for all of those activities? The library is a community center. During the recent power outages, the building was filled with people staying warm and charging their devices. Need a notary or want to apply for a passport? Start at your library.

He is right that we’ve spent lots of money on the building, but it wasn’t all “remodeling.” It is an ongoing struggle to keep our old three-part building (1965, 1984, 1995) safe, secure, accessible and open. We did recently add a checkout system bringing us into the 21st century and a long-requested drive-up window.

I’ve served on the Library Board for over 20 years, along with many others who also volunteered their time and expertise to study and discuss library issues. Every decision, in all those years, was made first with concern for taxpayer dollars and then to do our best to provide this community with a library that serves its needs.

Bill Weller

Crystal Lake