To the Editor:

Give a hand and lend an ear to your community during National Library Week, April 14 – 20, 2013. Your local library is a hub for engaging in creative conversations about the community’s needs. Your local library is so much more than a repository of resources— it’s the place for discussion that can enrich, shape, and transform your community.

The theme this year is Communities Matter @ Your Library! This is a timely theme for the public libraries in Eastern Shores Library System as we move forward with a recently approved merger investigation with the Manitowoc Calumet Library System. Public librarians and library boards throughout Calumet, Manitowoc, Ozaukee and Sheboygan counties will be determining whether a merger is in the best interest of their patrons and their communities. If these dedicated professionals and volunteer board members believe that this merger is in the best interest of their library and community, they can ask their county board supervisor to vote for a merger of the systems.

The merger investigation was initiated by two events, the June 2012 retirement of the Eastern Shores Library System Director and the funding of library systems by the state of Wisconsin. After a ten per cent funding reduction in 2012, the funding for the state’s 17 library system is the same for 2013. The Governor’s biennial budget for 2013-2015 proposes the same funding level as 2012. The Eastern Shores Library System Board of Trustees, made up of participating library board members, community members at large, and two County Board Supervisors brings the best system services to the public libraries in Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties, which brings you, the patron, the best service at your local public library and bookmobile.

Communities matter in Eastern Shores Library System and that is why Ozaukee and Sheboygan County support the bookmobile service in the nonlibraried areas of both counties. The bookmobile service matters to those communities its serves and the other stops where people may not have access to brick and mortar or virtual library services. During National Library Week visit your local library and the bookmobile for various programs that have been planned, including the Culver’s restaurant “Create your own story” drawing campaign for children 11 and under.

The Eastern Shores Library System member libraries, often through the technology the Library System provides, meets the needs of their communities by offering free access to the latest technology and materials to users of all ages. E-books and EasiCat, board books and storytimes, resume help and job searches are services of your community’s library.

The Eastern Shores Library System Board of Trustees, its staff, and its member libraries believe that communities matter at the library, and that libraries matter in our communities.

David Weinhold
Interim Director
Eastern Shores Library System

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