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  • Tall Tale Storyteller - Donna Ingham

    Tall Tale Storyteller - Donna Ingham

    Monday, August 14, 6:30 - 7:30pm
     
    Humorist Donna Ingham is a bred-and-born Texan who gives a Texas twist to the art of storytelling.  Her tall tales are told as only a Texan could - or would.  She has been named The
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  • DocNight:  A Man Named Pearl

    DocNight: A Man Named Pearl

    Tues., Aug.1, 6:45pm
    When Pearl Fryar and his wife sought to buy a house in an all-white neighborhood of Bishopville, SC, they were dissuaded with the explanation that Black people don't keep up their yards.  Remarkably, instead of fueling bitterness
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Rumblings come from hither and yon about this or that library that is facing financial cutbacks.

But, I have generally assumed that the cuts were due to overall weakness in local government revenue streams because of the recession.

Libraries would seem to be an easy place to save some money since what we offer is more a "soft" service than a hard one like water or sewer service.

So it came as something of a mild jolt when I learned this week that The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries will begin with a working group next month to "create a common vision for public libraries."

The institute will convene dozens of business, government and library leaders to talk about our futures because, to quote from a press release, "public libraries in the U.S. are at a crossroads."

It is certainly true that the digital world offers libraries new and new and interesting challenges, but it is just not true that the rise in use of e-materials spells doom for libraries down the road, at least in the near term.

And for that near term, libraries probably need more money, not less, to help patrons get up to speed on all things digital while maintaining print collections and responding to the needs of people who cherish actual books and magazines.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what kind of common vision the institute's group comes up with.

Our vision is reflected in the district board's five-year plan, just adopted earlier this year. That vision places the library squarely at the center of a more- and more-connected community, fostering dialogue and providing various entry points for people to access information they might not be able to find elsewhere easily.

 

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