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You Won't Miss It Until It's Gone!!

Written By: Joseph Kantor, Librarian, Leechburg Public Library
Story Date: May 15, 2012

Life has become so complicated and, for many, maintains such a tornadic pace, that it is difficult to remember that all important things are not grandiose or magnificent… all things do not require celebrity or notoriety to be worthy of our fleeting attention……all things that glitter are not gold. The marvels of our age have, in so many ways, caused us to lose sight of the small things that once had an enduring place in many aspects of our lives.

So it is with libraries, especially small, independent libraries that do not receive state funding.

For decades, public libraries were the “go to” place for all kinds of reading materials and research information and were part of the social life of communities everywhere. The gadget-mania of the electronic age has changed that drastically.

Here at Leechburg Public Library we are faced with extinction if the public…the most important part of any library…does not find its way to our doors. We dinosaurs from the Pre-Microchip Era spent hours researching subjects…work that can be done now in moments. But, that does not make a small town library useless…or expendable.

We are blessed to have the use of a very comfortable space Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. We have access to a small but varied collection, about 12,000 volumes, give or take. We have computers for Internet access. We can easily order materials for you through the state-wide inter-library loan program…free of charge. In fact, every program we sponsor is free unless otherwise indicated.

What we do not have is people coming in to select books or to pursue an interest by using our reference materials or non-fiction collection or to keep our library viable.

The annual book sale is coming up on June 20-23, 2012...and we will be glad to see all of you there...but, in order to be an on-going public asset to the community, we need much more public participation than for a once-a-year sale. We had a crochet class in April and a knitting class in May. Also in May, we had local gardener Ray DeFrances give a detailed talk about roses and Maryfrances Sulava gave an informative wellness presentation, but we are just beginning these kinds of programs. The library is currently scheduling events for fall and winter.

Please understand that we cannot do all the things larger, free-standing libraries can do. We cannot order books that will be read by only one or a few. Yes, it would be ideal to have a free-standing public library, but the building costs…and taxes…would be prohibitive…not to mention the cost of buying a book collection and other materials. So, be reasonable in your expectations.

What we need now is to hear from you, the public, about the kinds of things you would like to see presented by the library. Serious replies only! Write us a letter or call us at 724-845-1911 and talk to us about how we can keep this small asset to community life in Leechburg. Better yet, come see us. Human interaction is far more interesting than communicating through a gadget.

It should be remembered: chimpanzees can be taught to press buttons for food, but not to read like us; and dogs can be trained to salivate at the sound of a bell…but not to read like us.

So, you tell us! Could we have a speaker’s series? A holiday craft show/sale? A chess club? Scrabble? Crossword puzzles? Writing/Reading clubs? What would help bring new life to our little library?

Our doors are on at the Siberian Avenue entrance to the high school. We are open Monday through Thursday, 3-8 p.m. Our telephone is: 724-845-1911. We advertize our events in the Paper Mall, in the Buttermilk Falls publications, in The Leader-Times, in The Valley News Dispatch in the Stroller and on 15656.com.

So, look for our events… and come read with us. Join us in saving the Leechburg Public Library from extinction.

If you don’t use it…you will lose it...guaranteed.

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