by Mayor Tammy

Recently my husband Jan and I spent some time at unBound, the Meridian Library’s makerspace located in downtown. We expanded our imaginations and experienced innovation first hand with the virtual reality headsets, 3D printers, the woodworking and engraving machine and more. Needless to say we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and all the learning that takes place for people of all ages and abilities at unBound.

During our experiences, my husband made the comment: “Do people realize that libraries are more than just books and movies?” Although using my library card for e-books, magazines, and movies saves me major dollars every year, the Meridian Library District (MLD) offers so much more! Patrons have the opportunity to check out mobile hot spots (you can take the internet with you on your next camping trip!); graphing calculators; as well as Robotics, computer programming and even American Girl Doll kits. There’s also free scanning, faxing, and notary services as well as 3D printing and so many innovative and educational community programs. The list is extensive.

MLD has endless possibilities that await us in our personal and professional worlds! The library’s three branches and Bookmobile are all huge assets to our community, but one thing that is sorely needed is more space. In order for MLD to continue as one of our community’s gathering and learning centers, additional branches are needed to accommodate for the district’s rapid growth. This is why I will vote in favor of the library’s bond this November. The $12 million bond would fund the construction of two new branch library projects: one in south and one in north Meridian. The bond requires a supermajority to pass—which means every vote is very important.

The main library on Cherry Lane was built 20 years ago, in 1996, for a city of 40,000 residents. While the library has done a great job adding branches in downtown and in south Meridian (at a cost of $100,000 per year to lease the Silverstone space); these facilities can’t effectively handle the more than 92,000 patrons in the City and outlying district. By moving the collection currently in south Meridian, they could re-program the funds being used to lease the Silverstone space and bring additional services to the new branch at the Hillsdale location, once constructed. This would allow for more programs, collections for checkout, and professional staffing.

This is just one example of why the library has identified these projects as necessary in order to continue providing much needed services to their rapidly growing district. I can’t emphasize enough the key role that libraries play when it comes to being a strong and healthy community.

With this bond we have an opportunity to change our community for the better. To learn more about the bond, visit the library or go online to www.mld.org. Or you can attend one of two open houses the library is holding to educate the public about the bond: Saturday, Oct. 1, 10:30am at unBound or Tuesday, Nov. 1, 12pm at the Silverstone Branch.

If you haven’t been to the library recently, I encourage you to spend an afternoon learning about what they do and what they bring to our community. MLD is a great community partner! I’m sure after you spend a little time learning more about our library, you too will see how they are providing resources and services that make Meridian a great place to live, work and raise a family.

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