OUR VIEW: Library’s importance can’t be overstated

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, June 24, 2021

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We’re not sure you can overstate the importance of a local library, such as the LaGrange Memorial Library.

The library itself serves as a gathering place. It’s a great place to find your next great novel or to research a topic for a college paper. It’s easy to lose a few hours scouring the shelves, trying to pick out the next book you should read this summer.

It’s also a great resource for people who need to use a computer and might not have the means to do so at home. During the summer, it’s a great place to take children for story time or to get them doing something productive rather than watching television or playing video games.

As you know, the LaGrange library is scheduled for renovations and is currently relocated to Unity School.

Unfortunately, the renovations sound like they are going to take longer than originally intended, due to the rising costs of materials.

Keith Schuermann, who oversees the Troup-Harris Regional Library, said the library needs to close about a $2 million shortfall.

We’re sure a lot is being discussed behind the scenes to figure out how to get the library the funding it needs.

The city of LaGrange and Troup County have already given $1 million apiece to the library, and the Callaway Foundation has already contributed $2 million.

With all of those donations, it’s very clear that the project has been supported locally.

But our local library is extremely important and can’t stay in limbo forever.

Coming out of a pandemic, we think local libraries hold even more importance than ever before.

It’s been well-documented that schoolchildren have fallen behind over the last year, and our library is an important community resource in fighting off trends of illiteracy and low reading scores.

We hope to see renovations start soon — Schuermann estimated the end of summer or fall — and the funding gap closed quickly.

Until then, we hope you’ll go see the library at its location at Unity School and continue your support.