Letter to Editor 03

On Sept. 11, 1934, the then Indiana Evening Gazette had a front-page article headlined “Library Plans Reopening,” marking the move of the library into the borough-owned Community Center building.

A similar headline appeared recently in The Indiana Gazette marking the reopening of the Indiana Free Library after renovations necessitated the closure of the library for a few months. We appreciate our patron’s patience and share their enthusiasm at our ability to again provide the services that our community has come to expect.

Renovations have improved the building’s exterior and addressed all the building’s mechanical systems, making the library safer and more secure, more user-friendly and accessible, and better prepared to address future needs.

We are especially proud of upgrades to the children’s library and of a newly created technology training space that will enable us to better fulfill our mission of serving the community by supporting basic literacy and lifelong learning. These renovations were made possible through the efforts of our former state legislators (Sen. Don White and Rep. Dave Reed) and of the Indiana Borough Council and staff who secured the numerous grants necessary to fund this project.

It is important to note that none of these grant funds could legally be used for library operations (collections, professional staff, programming).

Some of the money for day-to-day operations comes from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. Locally, we are especially grateful for the support of Indiana Borough (through a dedicated library tax and for the assumption of utility and custodial service costs) and for the White Township Board of Supervisors, which provided a generous yearly allocation.

We receive a lesser amount from the Indiana Area School District. And, of course, community residents demonstrate their continuing investment by responding to our annual fundraising activities. We would not have a library without this multi-faceted support.

It has been said that “bad libraries build collections; good libraries build services; great libraries build communities.” We agree. Working together, we can build a great library — and an even greater community.

Dr. Mary Lou Zanich

President, Indiana Free Library Board of Trustees