We are county residents with a 4-year-old son. We enjoy the Walla Walla Public Library and take great advantage of the programs it offers for our area's children. Currently we have checked out five books and three children's DVDs and we routinely rotate our stock.
Our son loves going to the library to pick out new books, movies, play with the toys, learn computer skills, listen to stories offered at the regular weekly "story times," socialize, play and visit, in addition to other events such as the recent "Meet the Sweets."
We regularly see lots of friends and make new ones at the library. Going to the library is like going to the grocery store for us; just part of what we do. As county residents, come the end of this year, we will no longer be able to partake in this deep integral part of our family value system if the two separate library systems cannot come up with an equitable agreement to share services.
Why is there not a "Walla Walla" library system in this area that incorporates both city and county interests?
We have been part of the Multnomah County Library in Portland and the Spokane County Library - both operate as integrated city/county library systems. Why are there two systems in this area, and why can't they work together?
I know from the friends and faces we see at the library there are a great many others like us who will no longer be eligible to take advantage of this wonderful service. As many people have vocalized, it is difficult to understand why the Rural Library District feels the need to spend existing funds and probably borrow more to build another library and duplicate services that already exist.
Why not create an integrated system, as shown effective in other areas? Use the combined resources to improve the facilities and services at the existing WWPL as a central hub and enhance satellite locations to serve outlying areas.
I think the community has many doable options. If the RLD and the WWPL could put their differences aside and simply listen, hearing some of those, imagine what we could all come together to create, not only for us now, but for our kids and our future.