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Column

With Matilda as your anchor

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means for a business or a non-profit organization to be an ‘anchor institution.’ A general consensus is that anchor institutions are schools, hospitals, libraries, and other organizations with a vital role in sustaining their communities and local economies.

Once established, anchor institutions tend to remain in their geographical settings, even as conditions change around them. Accordingly, they are vital assets to their neighborhoods, towns, and regions. Anchor institutions are rooted in their local communities by their mission, capital investments, or their relationships to the customers, patrons, and clients they serve.

Examples of anchor institutions in Creston and Union County include SWCC, Greater Regional Hospital, Creston’s public and private schools, and the Gibson Memorial Library, to name a few. In the face of emerging trends related to globalization, such as the decline of manufacturing, the rise of the service sector, and mounting government fiscal crises, anchor institutions are increasingly important to the economic, cultural and social fabric of communities.

I strongly believe that to succeed as an anchor institution, and be a relevant contributor to the future of our community, the Gibson Memorial Library must provide information connectivity, up-to-date materials, and a range of digital products and services. Our skilled staff assists local patrons with technology-related issues, who then better utilize technology to improve their standard of living. This we increasingly do on a daily basis.

For some members of our community, good internet connections simply aren’t available. Others simply can’t afford it. Some don’t know how to get that connection at home, don’t know how to use it, or don’t have the time to manage it. Matilda is here to help, and it’s an increasingly vital part of what we do!

We’re here to help you with computer basics, internet basics, and finding resources online. Job-hunting, e-readers, Facebook, e-Government services, internet security; whatever it is, we’re here to help. Where else are those services available, and at no out-of-pocket cost to you?

Another vital component of our library’s mission is providing a comfortable and inviting space for people of all generations to meet and gather. Libraries host cultural events, educational programs, candidate meet-and-greets, small conferences, civic groups, clubs, supervised visits and a welter of family and business oriented activities. To stay relevant as an anchor institution, we must furnish a ‘smart space’ in which community organizations of all types — and individuals — can flourish.

That need for space to thrive — and for you to thrive — is a big reason why we’re upping our game to host cultural events like our annual wine walks and cemetery walks. Our trustees have a great vision for the library, and for the Creston area, and they’re committed to building the community support needed to insure that Matilda remains a vital anchor institution.

The Gibson Memorial Library is your library, and our staff, trustees, and the Creston Friends of the Library are committed to helping you succeed. Whether it’s for fun or for profit, we can help you reach your recreational and education aims. If we don’t have what you need, we’ll put you one step closer to it. As your library director, I personally guarantee that we’ll add value to your experience. Call me, David, at 641-782-2277 and let me know what we can do for you. It would be my pleasure to serve you better!

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