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Column

I’m thankful to serve

After nearly three-and-a-half years of service, I’m in a position to recognize many blessings our library receives in the Creston area. My hope is we return those gifts in the form of high-quality programming, services, materials and the promise of a facility that will meet our community’s needs for the foreseeable future.

We are your library, so if there’s something you would like to see at the Gibson Memorial Library, please don’t hesitate to contact us personally. For now, however, I’d like to spell out some of the things I am most grateful for here in the Creston area.

First, there are warm friendships. By now, I know most of the folks who brighten our library door each day, which is added motivation to be present in their lives, aware of their interests and to represent the Creston area as a library professional. From the Coffee Guys, to our regular patrons, to our devoted volunteers, to our latchkey kids, I am thankful to be in a position to affect positive community outcomes. I cherish my memories of Councilman Randy White, Bernard Shea and Kay Ritter, all of whom shared with me their deep knowledge of and passion for the Creston area.

Second, there are substantive partnerships. Without Creston Chamber of Commerce, Union County Development Association, Union County Extension, DEKKO Foundation, Union County Genealogical and Historical societies, Creston Community Schools, Southwestern Community College, our uptown merchants, Creston News Advertiser and KSIB – just to name a few – our programs and services would be unknown, or nonexistent.

Third, I’m thankful for our loyal volunteers and supporters. Because of you – Matilda’s Warriors and Creston Friends of the Library – we are succeeding in our drive to build a library and cultural center that will serve the community far into the future. We’ll have space for children’s programming, community meetings, technological hardware and a robust collection of books and materials. What a great day that will be, when Matilda’s castle is again a point of renewed civic pride!

Fourth, I’m thankful for good governance, which provides for the services, programs and material we share in the community. Public libraries exist because our political and business leaders have historically understood the essential value of ensuring everyone has access to knowledge and information they need to succeed and enjoy a good quality of life. In my experience, our library board, our city government, county supervisors and the state of Iowa maintain that tradition.

By now, you’re probably saying, “well he’s drunk the Kool-Aid!” And you’d be right. I believe our library can grow to host more programming and events. We can inspire more connections with literacy and culture and deliver more resources – print and digital media – to the community. I believe our library is an anchor institution in uptown Creston, and will become a hub of activity in Creston and Union County for the future. I want a high quality of life and a vibrant, dynamic economy for our area, and I’m determined to see the library facilitates that as much as possible. Are you with me?

We are very close to earning our matching grant from the DEKKO Foundation. Please check out the donor form in today’s edition, and help us with a gift or pledge if you can. It will be a great day in the Creston area when we receive that $250,000 check from the good folks at DEKKO, and we will see that great day soon! We’ll then be near the halfway mark in our fundraising efforts, and as the proverb goes, “well begun is half done.”

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll keep improving our programs, materials and services. On Monday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m., come hear Nancy Trask tell the story of Iowa’s Monuments Man, George Stout, who was the inspiration for George Clooney’s character in “The Monuments Men.” In Matilda’s name, we’re upping our game, because we’re grateful to those we serve!

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