Monday, May 15, 2017
Dorchester Library In Danger Of Closing Without Volunteers
Will you help save the Dorchester Public Library on our main street?
The Times has learned that the library is struggling to stay open due to lack of volunteers and lack of patrons.
A sign on the library's front door reads that without volunteers for Saturdays, the library is currently open on Wednesdays only (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.).
The sign also states that "there doesn't appear to be much interest in keeping the library open at all."
Could this be the start of a plan to close the library, which as been in operation more than 100 years?
If you would like to help keep the library open and can volunteer for a couple hours on Saturday mornings (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.), contact City Hall (402-946-3201 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dorchester needs to use its library more -- and Dorchester parents need to encourage and challenge their children to read more often. (At least reading more than whatever is on the screen of their smart phone.)
Despite Nebraska taxpayers spending more than $3 billion on K-12 education in 2016, nearly 30% of all Nebraska 11th graders failed to read at levels on statewide standardized tests. Those who came from English-as-a-second language home performed even worse. (No wonder so many Asian countries outperform the United States in producing doctors, engineers and scientists. Many of our kids can't even read at appropriate grade levels.)
Perhaps some new volunteers can think of ways to attract more visitors to the library and encourage more reading. For example, in Oxford, Neb., the town library has become a social hub for the kids. The AP reports, "The kids come in their PJ's. They curl up with stuffed toys and munch on popcorn. And, while their parents are watching a grown-ups' movie at the Granada Theater next door, youngsters at the Oxford Public Library are enjoying a G-rated, kid-friendly movie on their own big screen, helping the library fulfill its mission to be a vital, vibrant educational, entertainment and social hub of the community." The community's Oxford Foundation provided funds for an XBox game system and television. The library also has a variety of DVDs available for check-out.
Are you willing to help the town and its library?