June 11, 2014 - On Aug. 5, voters will decide the future of Clarkston Independence District Library. During a visit last week, patrons shared some their thoughts on what the library means to them.
"I would be sad without the library," confessed young library patron, Anthony Ventimiglia. Photos by Andrea Beaudoin (click for larger version)
"The library is a great place for everyone, but especially kids," said Yajaira Gonzales. "Kids going to the library means they get to enjoy books, interact with others kids. It would be awful to have no library. Awful."
Libraries are a refuge for everybody, Gonzales said.
"There is nothing like a community library," she said. "If the library closed where would people go?"
Matt Underwood lives in Springfield Township, but comes to the Clarkston library quite often.
"It is very convenient for me to come to this library because I work out here," Underwood said. "If voters were to say 'no' to their library, it would be an absolute shame.The library is such an integral part of the community. It is used for so many wonderful things like kids coming in to get books to read. The library also has so many great programs for little kids. I used to go to summer library programs when I was a kid. Going to the library encourages reading. Reading a lot also serves you well when you get older."
"I love a library, but I am 45," said Chuck Kelterborn. " I have two in CHS and one in CJH. I have yet had to bring any of them to the library for school. Reading is nicer to do with a book in hand then starring at a screen. New books are available at stores. I do not know if there is enough of a demand in this day in age to keep a library running. I like all their special programs and have used them when the children were younger though."
Other views include:
"I would really be upset of the library close. I just don't know what I would do. I come to the library all the time for Internet access. I have to come to the library to use the Internet do all my homework, study for exams, do research and write my research papers. If the library was not here I would not get my work done."
– Kiara Barahona
"Our community would be empty without the library, and I would be devastated if it closed. I would miss it terribly. I will do anything to keep the library open.I am an avid reader, and it means a lot to me to come to the library to read. My husband is secretary of Clarkston Lions Club, and the library opens their doors all sorts of things for the community including sponsoring a blood drive and offering eyesight screening for kids, a program many people could not afford. The library is a vehicle to the community for use to reach out to people. The library provides a link between the community and events. At the library you can also get movies and use the Internet."
– Phyllis Truba
"It would just be terrible if the library closed, and people had no access to the library. I will be voting yes. Everyone needs the library, but people of lower income really need the library to access the Internet. The programs offered by the library are very much needed. My son is autistic and the library staff is always very helpful. They also allow me to stay with him and help him when he is in the teens section. The library is also nice because I am able to find peace and quiet and no one bothers you."
– Kathleen Weger
"The library is a place I can find books that I could not afford or would not want to buy. I could never underestimate the value of the library. I value knowledge which is everything a library represents. I would be upset if it closed. I am voting yes."
– Amber Fullmer
"The library is a great source of information. It does not matter if you are coming in just to read a book or to use the computer. I hate to even think about if our library were to close. I cannot imagine a community without a library. It would be catastrophic. The millage has to pass, Clarkston needs a library."
– Greg Hall
"I have been bringing my kids here since they were five months old. I have always brought them here for library classes since they were just tiny babies. They have always learned a lot and it gives them a chance to interact socially with other kids. The library is a great place for kids at socially interact. It allows for family activities that could not otherwise be afforded." on the computer. We will be voting yes to out library."
"I like looking at books. I like picking out books and movies. I like playing games on the computer. If there was no library I would be sad."
– Anthony Ventimiglia
"How can you place a value on knowledge–which is what the library is for. If the library closed I would be very upset/
"I come to the library every day to read all the daily newspapers and use the Internet. If the library closed I would be without those two things in life. I am self-employed and that can quite lonely when I am just working by myself at home. There are many time I just come to the library for the atmosphere."
– Gloria Henry
And on Facebook:
"I cannot imagine living in a community without a library."
– Kari Heiple Vlaeminck
"I also cannot imagine living here without a library. It's hard to believe a community this wealthy can't support it's library."
– Mary Lorraine Plesz
"As a newly graduated CHS senior I can tell you without a doubt that I wouldn't have been able to maintain my 3.4 GPA without the library. It's more than just a place to check out books. It's a really valuable resource for young adults who don't have a place at home to study or have trouble paying attention at home when doing homework. I'd be really devastated if it closed."
– Emily Danielle Ward
"I love the library, but can't get there as often as I would like. I do use the OverDrive Continued from page 14
App to read books, which without having a library that participates, would not be possible. I will be voting yes for the library."
– Laura Maxson Ford
"I used the library a lot when my kids were younger. Three years ago my junior high school aged son needed something printed for a project. Discovered that our printer was broken(pesky power surges:( ), rushed over to library and with wonderful help got my sons papers printed. Thank you."
– Anne Kristine Kilen
"We have younger kids, 7 and 4 years old, use the library to get books out all the time and have done from a very young age! Although I prefer Orion library, Clarkston is more convenient hence, that's why we use it! Nice friendly, helpful staff at both! Oh yes, my older child has just done her piano recital there in the large meeting room!"
– Sophie Cox Sanders
"I love the library. My children are 10, 13 , and 16 and have all used the library. I bought a book for my oldest for his trip last year and he came home asking to go to the library to get the next one. I read a lot and would not be able to buy all the books I read. I like that most of the new releases are readily available. I check out paper books and download to my Kindle. I can't imagine not having a library in this community."
– Pam Leisz Kuczera
"Our library provides so many services for our community. I bring my young fives kindergartners every Friday to check out a book and hear a story. Their children's programs are really great too. My own two daughters always look forward to the summer reading program."
– Sandi Gajor Larkins
" Save the library vote yes people for the library here in Clarkston with out it I think we could never survive with out it."
– Spencer Stringer
"The library allows kids to read a variety of books on a variety of topics. The first comment mentions it's easy to buy books now days but you can't buy every book! It is not logical. The library has allowed my children to have a physical book in their hands that is about a topic they are truly interested in AND it is explained at their reading level. For example my son has always been interested in Solar Panels. Yes he can look up things online but most information goes above his head but at the library they have a book that discusses solar panels at his level and allows him to read and learn about it! Also the programs offered are amazing and help keep our children engaged and inspired! Every city needs a library and Clarkston wouldn't be the same without the library we have!!!".
– Susan Smith Schacher
"The library means a lot to my family. It's a literacy resource with awesome programs for everyone–not just kids. My personal experience does involve my young kids, but I know the library also offers programs for teens, adults and seniors. It's for everyone -- you just have to take advantage of it! My oldest son was able to walk to the library every week while enrolled in Young Fives at the early childhood center. That experience ignited his passion for reading, which is truly invaluable (he loves the library more than Game Stop!) What a great partnership! I use the library to check out everything from the latest in fiction to veggie gardening how-to, and I do love the biannual book sales. My husband used the library as a home office when we lost power countless times this past winter. My family would be heartbroken if the library closed. We'll absolutely vote YES for the millage increase. The extra $60 per year is 100% worth it to my family."
– Kelly Smith
"I'm going to be the odd one out here so don't thrash my opinion. First as a college grad and with an online masters degree I rarely ventured into the library. In today society all the information I ever needed was available online. Even most of the current research was not available in print. And with the the availability of books online the need for a library has dwindled every year. I do support a social setting for young people to learn to read and check out books, but I believe the funding could be better spent on programs with a larger impact on young people such as an expanded band program or youth fitness."
– Derek Casper
"Clarkston would not be the same without a library.What would happen to the soul of a community that would even consider it a possibility."
– Beverly Galligan Sherman
"For the record, I am not against the library although I do question the need for 1.25 mils. I am against the way this is being treated for city residents who will be voting for a full 1.25 mil tax increase which the Council will then have full control over. Township residents will be voting for a 1.25 mil Library millage with a guaranteed rollback of the current .691 mils. Even more interesting is that Township residents could vote a 1.25 mil tax increase on city residents even if every single city resident voted 'no' and the township residents would still only see a .56 mil increase on themselves. Very bizarre, although apparently legal. For these reasons, I will be voting 'no' on this ballot proposal.
– Cory Johnston
The Aug. 5 millage will ask voters to approve 1.25 mills. This millage provides 95 percent of library funding.
A "no" vote would mean the library closes, with all assets tuned over to Independence Township.
A 1.25 mill means landowners will pay $1.25 on each $1,000 taxable value of property. Homeowners with an average property worth $200,000 would pay about $125 a year. This millage is an increase of 0.5 mills, or $.50.
Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.