I agree with Wichita City Council member Michael O'Donnell: In times like these, we have to be careful about what we spend our money on ("Will new library be built?" Aug. 13 Eagle).
But that is exactly the reason we need to fully fund the new Central Library. Without mountains, oceans or major league sports, our primary calling card to industry is a well-educated and intelligent citizenry.
On the same page as The Eagle article on the library was an article about how 15 fewer USD 259 schools are getting Title I funding. Libraries are the great equalizer in our society and are more vital than ever to equal opportunity in our community and commerce.
Helping parents instill the joy of reading and learning in their toddlers with children's programs, serving 11,500 youths in the summer reading programs this year, engaging senior citizens with programming on history and genealogy — our library does that and more like no other place in Wichita.
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But we are out of room. We have inadequate space for our more than 1.3 million annual visitors, as well as the collections of all types of media required for them to utilize the library each year.
Moving the library also would allow for an expansion of Century II, which could be a benefit — financial and otherwise — to the city.
The question of whether we should build a new library is about determining what our city's priorities are. I believe our priorities must be in securing the future of all of the citizens of Wichita by building and adequately funding a new Central Library. The true cost would be if we don't build one.
Friends of the Wichita Public Library