Ketchikan’s library is a showpiece enjoyed throughout the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, including outside of city limits.
That’s not to say it’s a Taj Mahal. It isn’t.
It’s a building reasonable in every way — size, design, color and location — for this community. Inside, it is a setting perfect for reading, studying, quietly contemplating or combing the shelves for books, music and movies.
The community supports the library, which was evident at this week’s Borough Assembly meeting. More than 50 residents showed up, taking time away from their jobs and personal lives, to encourage the borough’s decision to continue to provide library funds in addition to the city’s contribution.
For each of the 50 residents who showed up to seek the funds another 50 to 100 likely didn’t because of conflicting time commitments.
The Assembly listened politely and should be applauded for its decision to continue its financial support for the library for another year. Recognizing that state funding is less than in previous years and that, if the trend downward continues, balancing revenue and expenses will become more difficult, it isn’t easy to continue to support what might not be viewed as a necessity.
But such services as those that libraries provide are even more valuable to residents when finances become tight. Libraries loan all manner of educational and entertaining materials, which might be purchased individually if personal budgets allowed. They are a means to enhanced experiences in good and bad financial times.
Right now the borough can afford to pay a share of the cost of operating the library. And, because it can, it will. And its support is appreciated.
Despite all of the government on this island, Ketchikan is one community with a single library. It’s available to all of us and it’s up to all of us to support it.
— Ketchikan Daily News,