Imaginations run wild at library—February 17, 2012
It’s always a wonderful thing when someone gets the recognition they deserve. I’m pleased to announce that our Renew HPL fundraising campaign Chair Becky Maddox-Spady will be recognized this month as an outstanding library advocate. The honor is given by the Nebraska Library Association in recognition of those community members that go above and beyond in their own time to promote their library or volunteer for library tasks.
I nominated Becky because in the last year she has led a fundraising team that raised $1.5 million for our building campaign. This is a significant achievement considering our $5 million goal and the confusion in today’s world about whether or not libraries are a good investment for the future.
But to hear Becky speak about the joys of her early childhood days at the library checking out The Cat in the Hat, one can’t help but think about how important libraries are for the children in our community. No matter your opinion of ebooks, smart phones or tablets, today’s children and future generations will still need and want a library.
A library for a child is a place where his or her imagination knows no limits and the world is full of possibility. It’s where he can soar with dragons, learn about snakes or escape with Anne of Green Gables. It’s where a child can satisfy his curiosity for books and technology and storytelling. And for a child, the library is more than just books. The library is also about socializing, learning expectations, sharing, playing and general exploration. This is why our library so desperately needs a renovation: to truly be able to serve future generations of lifetime explorers.
Our Itty Bitty Storytime babies need an appropriate space to crawl and play together. Our children’s books need adequate shelving, at the right height for our smaller customers. And no one can argue the need for a family restroom in the children’s area! These seemingly small changes make all the difference for a family’s positive experience in a library, or in any public facility. If we want to give our children the best chance at life, we need to give them the best environment possible to grow and develop. We do that in our homes, our daycares and our schools and we need to do it in our library as well.
I’m certain when Becky accepts her award the audience will applaud her heroic efforts to help our library move forward. I hope you’ll join me in congratulating her for working so hard for the future of Hastings Public Library, and the future of Hastings’s children.