Thanks to Rob Schultheis (“Welcome to the Dark Ages”) for pointing out the essential role of libraries in a democratic, free society. Despite political ambitions across the country to defund public libraries, I am happy to report that libraries and reading are alive and well in Telluride. Last year alone, our community enjoyed 96,000 books and another 16,000 audiobooks.
Our children read a combined 38,000 books, with the best news from the teens where reading doubled from the year before for a whopping total of 5,806 books read. A free society depends on an educated electorate and it also depends on open community dialogue. Libraries are trusted places to host that dialogue and Wilkinson Public Library strives to fulfill that role.
A recent NPR segment (Feb. 24, 2011) credits Alexandria Library with setting the table for the Egyptian people’s demand for reforms. “In fact,” reports NPR, “… the library, by promoting tolerance and freedom of expression, also contributed to the intellectual climate that led to Mubarak's eventual overthrow.”
I commend Rob for recognizing the responsibility we all share to make educated decisions and this community for understanding that their lifelong education is nurtured at the Wilkinson Public Library.
– Barbara Brattin, Director, Wilkinson Public Library