Letter: Greenwood library ready for next chapter of history




Cheryl Dobbs,

director,

Greenwood Public Library

To the editor:

When I began working at the (Greenwood Public Library) nine years ago, one of my favorite things quickly became the conversations I had with people who, in one way or another, were in the process of rewriting their stories.

I generally met them after the trouble, past the inaction and at the tail end of depression — just by walking into the library they had set the gears in motion and were ready to go.

They were preparing for new careers, replacing lost ones, going back to school, getting out of debt or researching retirement — so many new possibilities to find in the library.

Here they found whatever they needed to take that next step: information, technology, research or just a listening ear. Even in a world of fast food and instant gratification, there is no less need of a place to rewrite your story.

This year it was our turn to rewrite our story. Without serious work, our story would have ended with closed doors.

We knew this would not have simply been the loss of a library building, but rather the loss of

opportunity and empowerment, of story and adventure. So we got to work, and we began to write our new story.

In the beginning, all we dared hoped for was survival. Our very own fiscal cliff was rushing at us, and we did not yet have the courage to peek over the precipice. But as the year went on we made progress, gained courage and began to hope that a brand-new beginning was possible.

We have now closed the books on 2012, and instead of being the end of our story, it will be remembered as a successful chapter, a turning point. The painful sacrifices that began the year paid off, and we followed our recovery plan so well that we accomplished almost two years of it in our first 12 months.

We began with a deficit in January and ended with money in the bank. There is no doubt we are on more stable ground, and our community’s support played no small part in this success.

What will this chapter of Greenwood Public Library’s history look like? You can expect more of the same great programs for all ages and an increase in new books and resources as a healthier budget is implemented.

What you will not see is an increase in our operating hours. Each decision made will be directly tied to our recovery plan and to the strategic plan that our community helped us develop.

The next chapter of the Greenwood Public Library story is yet to be written. There will be plot twists yet to discover and battles left to fight.

But the best thing about our newly rewritten story is that no matter what the next turn of the page holds, we are ready. Funding is uncertain, emergencies may arise, but we are committed to our community, to good stewardship and to transparency.

We will continue to need the support of our community and of the Friends of the Library, and fundraising and grant writing will continue to be foundational to our success. This is the part of the story where the adventure really begins. I hope you will join us as we continue to move forward.

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