Ruehlig wants city council to fund more Antioch library hours

Dear Editor:

As the President of the Antioch School Board and as Antioch’s former (thirteen years) Representative to the County Library Commission and two-time chairman of that organization, I am no stranger to the needs of libraries.

Speaking, though, strictly or myself in the role of a private citizen, I am convinced that libraries are not a luxury but are an economic necessity. Great cities have great libraries. Libraries are simply a gateway to community engagement and cultural enrichment.

They are today’s veritable Meccas and crossroads, serving as a hub of traditional quiet reading, study and research while intersecting with modern technology. Call them the 21st century town square as they bring together people of all ages, interests and economic and social strata.

As people look to buy into communities with good schools they also take an interest in the available educational and cultural support system.

Libraries do, then, matter in the big picture and they matter on many levels.

Consider the tale of two cities. Deer Valley High has a great library and is fortunate to be across the street from Prewett Park and the modern library there. Our downtown library, though, suffers from wear and tear.

It is also cramped and in need of more hours of service because of the fact that, invariably, less families in the downtown have computer access than in more affluent S.E. Antioch. As  is, the downtown library is open 28 hours and Prewett Park 35. That’s, plain and simple, an inequity, particularly to our youth and seniors.

The City is now in the process of apportioning excess funds. I urge our Council at their next meeting to vote in favor of using some of the newfound money for extended library hours for the 18th Street location.

Walter Ruehlig

Antioch

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7 Comments to “Ruehlig wants city council to fund more Antioch library hours”

  1. Frank Rehm says:

    What is at the library that can’t be found online???

    • Publisher says:

      Mr. Rehm,
      Thank you for reading the Herald and your comment.
      In response, the first thing I have to say is “books”. While you can find them online to purchase, you can’t just download a book and read it for free.
      Also, not all students or even adults have access to the internet, which is also available at the library.
      If you haven’t been to the Antioch library on W. 18th Street, I encourage you to do so to see what they offer that isn’t available online.
      Allen Payton, Publisher

      • Dave Roberts says:

        Actually, Allen, you can download books for free from the library. You just need a library account and a free app called Overdrive, which allows you to check out five books for two weeks.
        There’s never an overdue fine because the books are automatically deleted from your computer, tablet, e-reader or phone after two weeks. You can then check them out again for another two weeks if no one has placed a hold on them.
        They have an excellent selection of books that are delivered instantly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I encourage everyone to check it out.

        • RJB says:

          Yes, true; however, not all books are available online.

        • Publisher says:

          Dave,
          While that’s good to know, it still requires you to have a computer or device with internet access.
          Plus, those are not actually printed books you can hold in your hand to read, like are available at the physical library building.
          Allen

  2. RJb says:

    Most of the kids I see at the libraries are on computers online using Facebook. I think the funding, if acquired, should be used to promote books that expand the art of literature. Books from Shakespeare, poetry, and the like that make students think critically.

  3. Jeffrey Hall-Cottrell says:

    Perhaps had we not fired our city manager and had to pay out a bunch of money to do so, we could have spent that money on the library. I am not opposed to the library being funded, but I don’t see where we have the extra money to do so as a city.

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