HSS library: ‘It’s not a building, it’s the lifeblood of the community’
May 17, 2016
A Grand County Library District meeting on Tuesday evening in Hot Sulphur Springs brought several town residents including kids, moms, officials, and retired people to give testimony about why their library should not close. Many spoke with emotion about keeping the library open. Children of all ages spoke about the library programs they love and read letters to the trustees, library staff and meeting attendees. They grew up in Hot Sulphur Springs, learned how to read at the library and didn't want it to close.
There was a lot of emotion in the library tonight and residents spoke for over an hour about the library they love and did not want to see close.
Dan Nolan: "We are scared to death you are going to close our library, where it all began like other things. I ask that you consider other alternatives such as spreading the deficit over other departments."
Merilyn Hunter: "The Summer Reading programs have overflow crowds of excited, enthusiastic kids. People sit on the front steps connected to Wi-Fi checking their email and talking across the world on Skype. The loss of the Hot Sulphur Library will leave an enormous hole that cannot be filled in any other way. If you spent some time at our library and witnessed the vital part it plays and didn't just look at it by the numbers, you would find it difficult to make a decision to close it."
Bob McVay, Mayor of Hot Sulphur Springs: "One of the most important buildings in this town is this library. This is a mother's social outlet. We don't have a coffee shop. The kids enjoy being here. We don't have a bike park. This is a safe place for them to be."
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Additional public comments:
"I've met five of my favorite friends during story time. My fondest memories are from coming here to story time."
"It is more than a library it is used by the community for everything."
"There has to be another way to make up this deficit than closing this building."
"It's not a building it's the lifeblood of the community," said one resident.
Stephanie Ralph ended the public comment period saying how grateful she was to everyone who came. As the executive director and a library users who brought her son to the Hot Sulphur Springs Library, she understood how tremendously important this library is to its residents.
"It does make a difference – libraries do make a difference in people's lives," she said.
"This is no small problem. The sad conclusion is we will have to make structural changes how the library operates."
Nothing has been decided for certain as the finance committee of the library district will continue to meet. As of publication of this story the meeting is still ongoing.
Read the full story on Friday in the Sky-Hi News.