Lots of ways to support library expansion

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010

Soldotna voters will have the opportunity to approve a $2.5 million bond proposition on their October 5 ballot in support of the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Library expansion project. (See article on page 1 of the Peninsula Clarion, Thursday, September 16, 2010.) Please vote Yes!

When Carl Sagan wrote Cosmos, the best-selling science book ever published in English, he stated, "The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries (emphasis mine)." At age 5, Carl Sagan's public library was instrumental in the beginning of his quest for knowledge of the universe.

I would encourage everyone on the Kenai Peninsula to support the Soldotna Library expansion. This library is used by people that live all over the Kenai Peninsula, and its services are much appreciated by our summer visitors. The quality of the local library and the services it provides are a reflection of the quality of the community.

Even if you do not qualify to vote on the Soldotna bond proposition, there are several things you can do to support the library expansion. One is to become an official Friend of the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Library. It is simple: just fill out a form at the library desk and pay the special membership fee of $5.00 for the remainder of this year. The regular annual fee is $20 for an individual and $25 for a family. There are other payment options for seniors, students and businesses. Your membership fee will help fund the many facets of the library expansion, and your name on the roster will prove community support to other funding agencies.

Another way to show your support is to make a monetary donation. Any amount is greatly appreciated! Donations can be dropped off at the Library or mailed to the Soldotna Friends of the Library at PO Box 4134, Soldotna, AK 99669.

One more way you can show your support is by purchasing and using a book bag or T-shirt at the Library, which will display the Friends of the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Library Logo around town. The logo design is the result of a contest among local students last year.

Finally, another way to show your support is to come to the Friends of the Library event on October 2 for food, music, and door prizes from noon until 2 p.m. Look for the Conoco Phillips tent behind the Library. Come, show your support for the library expansion, and learn more about the bond proposition.

The Friends organization is in the process of getting a website developed so folks will have an electronic way of keeping tabs on the progress. Official members will also receive a printed newsletter about library events and the expansion progress.

The design for the Library expansion includes space for public meetings, an area for children's programs where noise will not disturb other library patrons, more parking, more space for books, more computers and better wireless internet access, and other improvements.

Please join us in improving the health of our community, (even our civilization, as Carl Sagan wrote,) by voting Yes on the City of Soldotna's Proposition 1 on your October 5 ballot. The benefits will far outweigh the costs.

P.S. Soldotna voters, please do not confuse Soldotna's Prop. 1 (regarding bonds to fund part of the library expansion) with Borough Prop. 1 (concerning funding for roof maintenance for KPBSD schools and other buildings). These are two separate issues.

Jeanette Pedginski is a library lover and Secretary of the Friends of the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Library.

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