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Libraries are more than a building full of books

DAVID TEWES

By DAVID TEWES
Aug. 22, 2009 at 3:22 a.m.


Most communities have a library, be it large or small, that is a central meeting place for those who like to read, do research or just relax.

In Victoria County that place is the Victoria Public Library.

Jesica McCue grew up in Victoria and some of her fondest memories are the times she spent at the library.

"I must have been a little kid when the library opened up," said McCue, 39. "I remember doing piano recitals in the Bronte Room."

And now she takes her children, 6-year-old Riley and 8-year-old Tate, there so they can also enjoy it.

"It's just a great community building, networking place," McCue said. "The staff is phenomenal."

The librarians love talking to patrons about books and don't mind answering library-related questions, she said.

A plus for her is the librarians are child-friendly and not intimidating, she said.

"We're there every three weeks, sometimes more," McCue said. "I take the biggest bag we have so we can check out as much as we can."

Margaret Vaughan has used the library for something other than checking out books. She found it a great place for studying when she was working on her certification to become city secretary.

"If I stayed at city hall and tried to study during my lunch hour, there were always interruptions," Vaughan said. "Here, you can find a quiet spot and people leave you alone."

Vaughan praised the recent remodeling at the library, the staff and free computer classes offered by the library.

"For people that haven't been to the library, they're going to be really surprised," she said.

Library Director Dayna Williams-Capone said the computers and wireless Internet are a big draw for the library and the economy may play a role in that.

"We're serving people who have no Internet or they had to give up paying for that due to economic choices they had to make," she said. "So they're coming to us."

It's likely the growing number of people coming to the library seeking help writing resumes is also related to the economy. The demand prompted the staff to create a class dedicated to helping people create resumes.

But the library is more than just books and computers, Williams-Capone said. It's also a gathering place for people.

"They like being in a place out in the community, away from your home or away from your office where you can go out and be in a space that is a social area," Williams-Capone said. "You can people watch, or you can just sit and be in a quiet place away from your kids or coworkers and get some work done."

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