Libraries – Part of Solution to Community Challenges
"Keeping our minds alive and healthy is the most important step we can take to ensure a civil society," says Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "We are all facing difficult questions about how best to use limited resources. Our country has a great asset in its libraries and museums. Their infrastructure reaches nearly every community in the U.S., with expert staff, great content, technology and physical spaces, and most importantly deep knowledge about community needs. Libraries and museums are hubs for civic ingenuity and part of the solution to many of our most important community challenges."
What Hildreth didn't say is that just as we have to feed our minds — and our bodies — to keep them healthy, libraries also must receive support from the communities they serve. Certainly this means monetary support, but more than that it means being interested, getting to know their services, their staffs, and volunteering if you are able.
Budget for Libraries is Based on Use
Did you know that the amount of money allocated to the public libraries in Costa Mesa is affected by the actions of Costa Mesa residents? Part of the budget is based on usage, so each time a resident goes outside the city to use another library equals less money for the Costa Mesa libraries. "They didn't have the book I wanted," you say. You can order the book through Costa Mesa — it is probably available in the Orange County Public Library system, or one of their cooperating libraries — and pick it up there a few days later.