"I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it's better than college. People should educate themselves - you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I'd written a thousand stories." -- Ray Bradbury
This has been National Library Week, a reminder of how important a public library is to a community. Particularly in Camp Verde, a lot of hope rests on what a library can be and can do.
Back when Camp Verde incorporated in 1986, a deciding factor for a lot of people was the creation of a community library. It was considered an essential use of taxpayers' money.
The library has not just been a place to find a good read. It has been a place of learning and growth. And not only from books.
Staying on top of communication trends and learning trends is what keeps a library vibrant in the 21st century. For all the research and book exchanges people can do anonymously online in their own homes, a public library offers an arena of guidance and feedback, an exchange of information and ideas face-to-face. Classes, workshops, discussion groups and a range of other activities with your neighbors are great community-building experiences.
Of course, there is always that element of free education. All taxpayers chipping in a few dollars a year for a public library finances a learning experience for innumerable people. And the more people can educate themselves from reliable sources (unlike some Internet sites), the more ideas can find solid footing.
From the beginning, Camp Verde's library was never the prettiest building in the world, but over the years staff and volunteers have wrung every possible use out of it. Even before the much-anticipated new building becomes a reality, there continues to be a strong determination to make the library fulfill its obligation to the community it serves.
Its evolving offerings and access to a wider world have made the Camp Verde Library even more essential now than it was nearly 30 years ago.
"A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas." -- Norman Cousins
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