Where is the civic leadership and vision?

Dear Editor:

I have been a Weatherford library patron for 15 years. Between my four children and myself we check out over 50 books every two weeks. We drive 30 miles, and specifically choose Weatherford for our shopping and errands because of the library availability. The new fee is unacceptable.

In an era of declining library usage the attack on loyal library patrons by misguided city officials is remarkable and foolish.

The news that the library will begin charging a fee to over half of their patrons is outrageous. It would seem non-residents are being used as pawns in a ridiculous battle for funding between a short sighted city and an idiotic county.

Let’s review. The city of Weatherford is exploding with growth, as is the surrounding county. Taxes are ridiculous, and businesses are booming. The city should be carefully considering it’s transition from sleepy little town to thriving extension of the metroplex, and it’s position as a gateway to resources for the surrounding, less affluent counties. Thousands of shoppers, diners and paying customers of all sorts drive into the town daily to utilize the resources of a larger town. Your parks are visited, your events are attended, your churches and the college is filled.

And instead of thinking, hmmm, how can Weatherford increase its attractiveness to potential residents, prove it’s urban depth of opportunity while keeping it’s hometown charm and welcome, officials decide to engage in a petty squabble for pathetic amounts of money from the county.

Do you really not understand that a successful, vibrant public library is a part of every legitimate town of reasonable size? Frankly, the Weatherford Library is ridiculously underfunded, in need of expansion, (for crying out loud revamp the check out area already — it is the world’s most awkward set up) and a face lift. Instead of the city allocating appropriate funds to maintain and improve what is a basic service, it is apparently going to shoot itself in the foot out of spite! Enraging half of its patrons is a great way to decrease circulation, which will lead to the city allocating less resources, and then deciding to close the doors completely because “no one reads books anymore.” You are all fools - and bluffing to the county (who could probably care less about the success of the library) is ridiculous.

Why isn’t the city considering the library a jewel in the civic crown? Why isn’t it a priority to create a literacy hub that benefits anyone within driving distance - simply as a perk for living close to such an awesome town like Weatherford? I want better book availability, a welcoming atrium that my kids find enchanting, an adjoining indoor play area for small kids along with a coffee bar area moms can gather in and enjoy after attending one of the amazing kids programs the dedicated staff offers. I want black tie literacy events with interesting speakers, and jazz date nights with book themes in an attractive building that welcomes everyone. Why isn’t there a vision for expansion and improvement in the physical elements to match the incredible staff and programs that are currently offered? Where is the civic leadership and vision?

You serve an urban AND rural area. The funding distribution will never be fair. Get over it. Get on with doing the job well.

Kami Flavin

Santo

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