I’m afraid the library will be forced to charge Ironwood Township residents a fee to access the library. The annual non-resident fee was recently increased to $60 for 2014. That is substantially more than the $8 per person the township has provided the library in the past, and will make it impossible for economically challenged families to access a valuable resource.
I encourage Ironwood Township residents to speak up and support the $8 per resident that it would cost them to support the library. The $8 will help ensure the continuation of enriching and valuable programming. The library offers many services/programs: access to the Internet, computers, newspapers, magazines, books, children and teen programs.
I am very proud to volunteer with the library’s drama group for youth ages 11-18. There are no drama programs in our local schools. This program allows kids from our area to make new friends and to be in a group where they are respected and accepted by their peers for who they are.
On Dec. 10, this group of kids, several of whom reside in Ironwood Township, will perform at the Historic Ironwood Theatre for the area’s K-6 graders, many of whom also live in Ironwood Township. This program was made possible because of the library’s hard working staff. The time and resources the library provides ensures such programs are offered. The funding cut will have a significant impact on whether or not there will be staff to ensure that enriching and valuable programming continues.
The other township only pays $1 per resident. I expected the Ironwood Township board members to be leaders in our community. I expected them to recognize the value of $8 per resident and how much bang for the buck that $8 would bring to all the residents in our township and our community. I expected them to place a higher value on resources that enrich lives and support learning for children and adults. I am ashamed to be associated with an organization that represents my place of residence with this kind of decision.
I encourage the township board members to reconsider their decision. I encourage the residents of Ironwood Township to speak up and support the $8 it would cost them to support the Carnegie Library. Do what is right, not what is easy.