Back a few years ago, I (and a group of civic minded friends) started a library in my town. We had a population of about 1000 and even though there was a library in a neighboring town, a large portion of our population was unable to use it…..various reasons were given but the two most stated were “I have no transportation” and “I don’t speak English”………
Our little group tried first to get reliable transportation for our shut-ins…….well we couldn’t use the county’s ride’and’share buses as we were a “city”……and the “city” had no funds to contract with the ride’n’share and even though I was on the city council could not convince the other
idiots council members to vote for the idea…..so an alternative had to be found. The city had an unused building centrally located……….and after much screaming, pleading, and damn near bribing did we get permission to use “part of it” for a lending library….but the city refused to “pay” for anything. We had to do it all on our own.
Well, after yard sales to raise money, talking the newspapers into giving us free advertising, the donations by individuals of books, etc…and two months of shelf-building by volunteers……we opened. The city council was there for a “picture op” at the ribbon cutting, but it was up to us to take care of the daily activities.
I volunteered my time and energy for almost three years before my health became an issue and I had to leave…….but when I left, I along with the help of exactly 6 people had brought our “library” from a third of a room with 100 books to a fully stocked library nearing accreditation. We were the recipients of several grants, we had 400 card holders, we sponsored 9 different non-profit groups meeting for a small fee…….we were paying all our own bills…..we had bi-lingual books and media (unlike the public library in the next town over (population well over 20,000)……..
Then at the general election a whole new city council was elected……….the library was gutted………disappointment doesn’t begin to describe how I (and those other 6) felt.