Editorials

If you think we love libraries, you’ve read us like a book

The Bay St. Louis Public Library and the rest of the Hancock County Library System deserve full funding.
The Bay St. Louis Public Library and the rest of the Hancock County Library System deserve full funding. Sun Herald File

Hancock County should be proud of its resourceful and vibrant library system.

Like all libraries, those operated by the system in Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Diamondhead, Kiln and Pearlington are much more than buildings full of books.

They are gathering places, places of learning and places to access the internet for those who cannot afford high-speed connections at home. They offer the people of their communities meeting spaces, reading programs, and the opening lines of conversations.

The system’s website is an online portal to fluency in a foreign language or a mastery of the digital age. Online patrons can find an extensive card catalog directing them to the latest in fiction and nonfiction, and unlimited access to thousands of graphic novels and comics. Something, virtually, for everyone.

Children newborn through 5 years old are getting a jumpstart on school through a partnership with Excel by 5 at the Rubber Ducky Camp. There are reading programs for older children as well.

Adults can explore the Adobe Creative Cloud through the Digital Creation Station or relax at Coloring Night for Grownups. You can convert your old VHS tapes to DVD, meet famous authors such as Carolyn Haines or take in an educational program or debate.

No wonder the Hancock system was selected as a Mississippi Star Library in 2015. No wonder other libraries come and see how it is done.

We think this is one of the best bargains for Hancock County taxpayers. We appreciate the Hancock County Board of Supervisors for looking under every rock and in every nook and cranny for savings. That’s good government.

And we’re glad the supervisors didn’t just look at the library as an easy way to save money. Instead, they called together all the stakeholders to talk in public about the needs of the library, the sources of library funding and how the library system is governed.

We trust the supervisors are listening to the library administration and its supporters who took time out of busy lives to come and quietly show how much the library means to the people of the county.

We would hate to see the library system’s budget cut. We consider it an essential service.

And we would urge library supporters who aren’t in the Library Foundation of Hancock County to join its effort to help pay for these wonderful library programs.

The libraries support our schools and our communities. They are attractive to businesses and developers looking for dynamic communities. Curtailing this sound investment is no way to save money.

Libraries are indispensable.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.

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