We've done what we can to help get the word out about the importance of the libraries in the area, and yes, the "big names" get a lot of attention. The local library has become so much more of a resource to communities that they serve with the years. What was once a book repository is now a spot for all things media, research, access to the internet for some and for others, a communal gathering spot for discussion, information and of course...yes...even still, a book.
One of the area libraries that you might not hear about all of the time is nestled just outside of Whitehall in a very picturesque setting with warm architecture and an inviting appeal to all it serves. It's the White Lake Community Library and for it's size and location, the amount of service it provides is staggering. Sure, 2020 has been a bust when it comes to the averages with patrons in and out and things, but a quick glance back at 2019 shows you the vitality and necessity of this gem. The White Lake Community Library had 67,000 visitors in 2019. A quick check of the population of Whitehall shows that there are 2776 residents (2018). That's 24 times the population of the city. Not too shabby. Also in 2019 6399 people attended programs at the library, 80k plus items were borrowed, and 3193 residents have active library accounts. This is a staple of the community.
The operating millage ran out, so, what's being asked is a new millage, however, it's LOWER than what was being asked before. It's about $1.56 a month for the average homeowner. A BUCK FIFTY SIX. A video game in an arcade costs more. What's needed? Well, it's been 20 years so things like the roof, the boiler, carpet and all that. Also evolving technology that could use some refreshing and of course, with all those visitors to maintain and improve the library programming is always a priority. It's very small ask and the return for the entire area is absolutely priceless.
Doug Ogden is an advocate for the library. He's also the Pastor at the Lebanon Lutheran Church and honestly, a pretty great guy. He invited us up to learn a little more about the need to get this millage request out in front of ya and to talk about the nuts and bolts of what the need is. Take a listen.
August 4th is coming up quick! In a time when so much is being cut due to circumstances and shrinking budgets, we can all do our small part to protect true community resources like the White Lake Area Library. When you vote Tuesday in the White Lake Area please make sure you find the millage request and help sustain this truly amazing spot in such a great part of our entire community. Our many thanks to Doug for the invite up to learn more and the visit. To visit the library's website, click on the photo below.