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The Estes Park Public Library
Readers of this space are probably among the two or three hundred active holders of Estes Park library cards. Mine is #2189 and it expires in June. At that time I’m going to be issued a card that will expire in December. Why a six month card? Because Estes Park is trying to decide what to do about patrons who live in unincorporated Larimer County and Boulder County, which is to say, outside the new Estes Park Library District, created by an election which voted one-and-a-half million dollars to build a new library.
I know a number of Estes Park folks who voted against it, even though you can’t build much of a library for 1.5 million. They’d like you and me to help pay for it somehow, and by December, according to Judy Hoxsey, library director, “We’ll know where we’re going.” I think that means they’ll have figured out a way to make the Allenspark folks pay to use the Estes Park library.
Of course you and I support the Boulder library with our taxes, and Estes Park people can get a Boulder card at no cost. But any of us can get a library card pretty much anywhere without paying anything for it. Libraries, after all, are supposed to be open to all, without cost. That’s the whole idea behind libraries, isn’t it?
So you may wind up with a different color of card, or a card with a big red “A” (for Allenspark) on it.
In the end, they probably won’t do anything; I doubt you’ll have to drop a quarter in a turnstile to get into the Estes Park library: “Non-Residents Use This Door Only!”
Still, if it concerns you, you might stop by and make your feelings known.
This situation is just one more example of the way life has become more complicated. When I was young, the Estes Park Library consisted of one room, which is now the children’s and audio/visual section, and there was a single, bookish lady in sensible dress, shoes and hair style who was happy to suggest new books. Now the staff wears Nikes, there are at least six people just on the board of directors, and they’re going to issue new cards to everyone “once the automation of the library is complete.” Just what we were all afraid of.
They’d better not fool with my mother’s card number though; she got it in 1927 and it has no expiration date. It’s #37.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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