In the upcoming February election, there will be a library levy. As a frequent user of the Timberland Library system, I would like to urge voters to support the levy lid lift. This is necessary in order to continue the availability of this most amazing resource to Pacific County.

Despite the advent of the Internet, the library remains a significant contributor to our lives. In addition to providing access to books, films, music and thousands of periodicals, as well as regional newspapers, these libraries are also a much-needed site for free Internet access for local patrons and visitors to the area.

Since I moved here some 25 years ago, I have bragged about our library system to folks all over the country. I have used the library's resources to obtain information from rare books (including material they were able to find for me in other library systems) and to round out research on any number of topics. In addition, I am an FB (Frequent Borrower, a new term I just made up. I thought about making that 'FBI' to say Frequent Borrower in Ilwaco, but that might be going a bit too far.) Hardly a week goes by when I am not in my local library at least once, scooping up books, movies and magazines.

And I'm clearly not the only one. According to the last census, there are 20,984 good souls living in our county. Of those, 43 percent hold Timberland Library cards. (Ilwaco has 3,263 registered cardholders; Ocean Park has another 4,386; and Naselle shows 1,270 in their database of cardholders.) Assuming that many households have only one cardholder but several people benefitting from the card, I think we can safely assume that half or more of the county's residents avail themselves of the local library system.

At this point, services in our libraries are already being cut back. The hiring freeze is definitely on and Ocean Park no longer has Sunday hours. For the many of us who work and can't get to the library, the prospect of having evening hours cut isn't a pleasant one.

In this day and age, when local resources are experiencing the same threat to their stability as the big corporations, it will take a small commitment of around $30 for me to assure that this local gem stays in our community. I plan to vote to spend that small amount of money and I hope your readers will do so as well.

UNA BOYLE

Long Beach

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