On a recent shift on the floor at the Morgan Memorial Library,
- I helped a woman find book about writing a business plan.I helped a man find and print up tax forms
- I helped a woman fill out, save, and print out a Visa application
- I helped a man get a copy of his old resume from a CD, and email it to himself so he can edit it.
In a typical moment at the library, there are teenagers participating in youth activities, parents and toddlers making use of children’s spaces, men and women quietly reading newspapers, and working folks making use of books and public computers to improve their value to the workforce.
At Morgan Memorial Library, all that goes on in an area about half the average size of a new home.
Also, in a typical shift at the library, I spend a lot of time telling teenagers not to gather in hidden corners behind the stacks or in the tiny area that we set aside for studying. They’re not causing any trouble usually, but there isn’t a lot of space so we have to make sure that space for finding books and for studying isn’t clogged up. Whatever you feel about teenagers these days, you might be surprised to know that a lot of them are still interested in reading books.
We have one meeting room at Morgan and when it’s free, it’s available to be reserved. But it’s also used for youth activities, classes, and staff meetings. Because the library is pretty small, sometimes the noise from activities in the meeting room and the children’s area spill out into the lobby. More space and few extra rooms would be very helpful.
A new Morgan Memorial Library with well designed spaces and room to hold various functions without interference would better serve the community. It would be more effective at keeping kids occupied with educational activities, at helping adults stay informed and engaged, and would be better at helping people find jobs.
In addition to all that, it would help beautify downtown Suffolk and attract business.
The benefits of a new library have been extensively studied. You can find more information at www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com/291/New-Downtown-Library.
Tonight, ( Wednesday, Feb 20 ) you can show support for a new Morgan Memorial Library at the City Council meeting. I’d love to be there but I’ll be working at Morgan, doing what I can to help people out.