Once Upon a Library: A Truckee morality tale
Special to the Sun
TRUCKEE and#8212; Once upon a time, the way all good stories begin, there was a little town in the mountains, built on the industries of lumber, ice harvesting, and a little mining. The people who settled there had come from many different lands, but were united in their love of the outdoors, the mountains, and the clear blue sky.
Because the winters were long and snow accumulations large, the town residents spent many hours indoors at night. There were many things to do inside and#8212; make music together, read tales of other lands, play games, sew, tell stories about the old days, and paint pictures and#8212; but there never seemed to be enough books to satisfy everyoneand#8217;s yen for armchair travel, mythological tales, and information about the world outside.
As the years went by, a group of townspeople began to mourn this emptiness and determined to do something about it. In a corner of the schoolhouse, they set up a little library of donated books for everyone to borrow.
Over time the collection grew so large it needed its own house. Again the townspeople came together, built a library, and opened the doors to all the people. Because theirs was not an official Town that made its own rules, they joined a larger of organization of libraries, governed by The County over the hill.
Years later, feeling the strength of their collective intelligence, the people became empowered, and rose to the task of making and implementing their own decisions.
The townand#8217;s citizens proclaimed their independence, voting to handle their own snow clearing, budget balancing, policing, and governing,
As the town found its feet, the people who loved the library the most began to wonder if their beloved repository of knowledge might also be better off with local decision-making . So they hired a library expert from the flatlands who brought back the news: yes, this could be possible. It would take a lot of talk and negotiation, there would be inevitable bumps in the road, but it was definitely an option worthy of exploration.
On Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, at 6 p.m. library lovers will attend the meeting of the Truckee Town Council to respectfully ask the Council Members to consider the possibility of taking over operations of their Little Library that Could. If you, too, wish to have more local control of library operations and the sales tax dollars that support it, please come to the meeting. Speak if you wish, or just come and show the town how much you value your public library.
Find more information at truckeefol.org.