With two seats on the Great Bend Public Library Board of Directors opening up, now is the time for people who care about ensuring one of the city’s most widely used assets receives the leadership that patrons deserve.
At the April meeting, Director Harry Willems noted that 11,196 people came through the doors of the library during March. That’s about 361 people per day. During spring and summer break, that count can reach as high as the upper 500s. That number reflects all ages, all walks of life, and includes visitors to Great Bend too. It could be argued that, other than schools, it’s the most highly utilized community institution in town.
The library provides many useful resources and services to the community at no charge to patrons, making it also one of the most democratic institutions around too.
It provides access to the internet for all, as well as quiet places to study, meet, and learn. The ever growing list of new books and videos ensure that patrons have access to the latest information and entertainment. There are groups that meet to share interests and help grow skills, like the maker spaces and crochet classes, and the people who take part give back to the community by making and donating hats and gloves and more.
Where else can you go and have a selection of so many of the latest editions of magazines and newspapers? And when you need to find a book that is out of print or hard to find, the librarians have the skills and connections to help you get what you need. And on top of that, if you are late in bringing back an item you’ve checked out, within reason, you aren’t even fined.
In order to make all this possible, the library needs sound leadership. It needs oversight from the community to make sure the community’s best interests are continually met. It needs good people who will fight the good fight because they believe that local library services should be supported and preserved for the benefit of everyone in the community.
Interested individuals should contact Mayor Mike Allison through the City of Great Bend for an application and interview. Visit with some of the present board members and learn more. Seats open up in May, so don’t delay.