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programs provided free of charge to everyone who enters the library. The response has been favorable to the increased funding requests.
Local school children are primary users of the library’s resources and programming. In 2020, almost $9 million in funding was given to libraries from boards of education (BOE) throughout the state of Georgia. The local BOEs have been approached to add library funding to their upcoming budgets.
The VTL Trustees appreciate the solid feedback and questions they have received from the City, the County and the local Boards of Education. The Trustees want the community to know that these boards are listening to the Library’s needs. How Libraries Are Used
The Library staff and Trustees want to make the community aware that “libraries are the only place in a community where everyone is welcome and there are no criteria for admission. We exist to provide access to information for everyone no matter their age, education, or socioeconomic level.” It is a place to build literacy, continuing education and community engagement.
Asbell explains, “How people use libraries is different from what most people think. Library users are here for free internet, free computer time, tutoring, online classes, self-employed space to work, programs, and a place to be themselves outside of work or home. We have digital books, magazines, online databases, programs, crafts, story time, computers, Wi-Fi, and books.”
Asbell added, “The library is the place where people come to apply for jobs, apply for social security, and food assistance; and librarians are the people who sit down and help them, sometimes when they are at their lowest, and we do it with compassion and absolutely free of charge. “The library is the place where children come to story time and sing and dance before checking out their first book. Where they come to watch magicians, jugglers, and animal programs during the summer. College students come to work and, in a few years, they bring their babies to story time. We see wealthy people who are voracious readers and we see homeless people looking for a place to quietly spend the day inside.” Asbell continued, “The public library provides something for every stage of life and books are just one of the many things we have to offer. There is no other community resource like the library and adequately funding it is an investment in the people of the community and their futures.”