In January we heard the President’s version of the State of the Union. The message never changes very much regardless of whoever occupies the White House: the country is in pretty good shape; promises are made to do things that don’t really matter a whole lot; a few truly courageous citizens are honored with emotional tributes; and the members of Congress behave as they always do - those belonging to the party in power leap to their feet cheering loudly every five seconds, while those on the other side remain glued to their chairs. It is entertaining, however, if you have a sense of humor at all!
Anyway, that prompted me to consider writing a State of the Library message - with a few differences: I’ll be very honest; I won’t make promises that I can’t keep; and you folks get to judge how we’re doing.
On the surface, the library looks good. Our collection is growing thanks to some very nice donations to both the Adult and the Children’s rooms. We also have a great new computer in the Main room and a nifty laptop (one of three) in the Annex so that our patrons can access the internet as well as their e-mail accounts. All of these donated computers are powered by DSL high-speed connection, and are easy to use.
During the past year, we have welcomed several new volunteers to our ranks, and we are very grateful to them for their time and energy. They join our 23 “seasoned” volunteers, some of whom have been serving the community in this way since the library was organized in 1984, and all of whom are excellent people to know.
Now for the bad news! Our ancient building is very difficult to maintain. The huge windows are single-paned, some are broken, and all have gaps around the casings. There is no main heat source. The ceilings are cracked, although they no longer leak since the Fire Department put on the new roof! The plumbing works for now, however one never knows how long that will last. We have been heating the rooms with space heaters, which provide warmth but they are expensive to run. Our January EWEB bill was $439. The bottom line is that our annual expenses are approximately $3,000, which is difficult to come by since the library has no regular income.
The members of the Library Board have proposed a solution to the problem. It’s a fun idea and we hope that it will become an annual event. On September 20th, 2013, the library will host a fundraising auction called “Love Your Library,” to be held in the McKenzie Fire and Rescue Training Hall (across the parking lot from the library). The evening will begin with lots of yummy hors d’oeuvres and beverages, a brief history of Leaburg Library followed by a guided tour of the building. After that, you will have plenty of time to look over the various high-quality auction items and services before the event begins. Once that auctioneer starts though, hang on to your hat because it’s going to be an exciting ride! Don’t you just love an auction?!!
This will be a wonderful evening and a great way for you to help us keep the library operating for years to come. There will be much more information in this paper as the event draws closer, but in the meantime write “Love Your Library” on your calendars in big red letters. September 20th – BE THERE!
I’ll see you at the library.
Marty Mealey, Director
McKenzie River Reflections