I was in the shop arranging the incredibly fragrant essential oils soaps I just got it when I I was surprised by a phone calk from Lorraine this week. She was up in arms about the Black Mountain Public Library. “Stephanie, have you heard what’s going on? It’s outrageous! They are talking about closing our library!”
I dropped the bar of soap I was holding and collapsed into Ron’s raggedy leather chair. “Closing the library?” I gasped. “Why?” I leaned back against the soft cushions. So that’s what’s behind those cute handmade signs I have seen sprouting up on lawns all over town.
“Because they’re stupid!” she declared.
“When is this happening?” I asked, thinking about the books and recorded books I have at the house that I checked out and how soon I’d have to get them back to the library.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she sighed. “But we have to band together to stop them!”
“What’s behind this move?” I asked, immediately flashing to the Nazis burning books and stifling schools and teachers. Were there Nazis on the county commissioners?
“I heard that the commissioners want to combine the Black Mountain and Swannanoa libraries and build a bigger one in an undisclosed location. I guess no one noticed that the cost of construction goes up every day. I suppose they want us taxpayers to fork over millions to build something we don’t even want!”
While the idea of officials wanting to build a bigger library was better news than their wanting to close it altogether, I couldn’t understand what was behind this move. “That’s so nuts and untimely. Ron told me that he went to Home Depot yesterday and in one day the cost of roofing went up $9 a square—a 30% increase. This is not the time to build something unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
“I agree,” she said. “Besides, I love our library! It’s just the right size for our little town. We have been to so many events in their community room and we vote there in early voting. I am very attached to that space.”
“I am too. I love being able to walk up there from Chifferobe at lunch time. The location is just right. It’s the center of this community.” Some customers walked into the shop and I told them in sign language that I’d be with them soon and pointed towards some new antiques I just got in from Meg .
“I can walk there from 44 Cherry Street, too.” she went on. “That’s one of the reasons I moved to Black Mountain! It’s possible to walk to the library, the bank, local shops, and restaurants from all over central Black Mountain. The new location would certainly be outside of downtown. If you don’t have a car, how would you get there?”
“This is awful!” I agreed. “What can we do?”
“Join the Friends of the Library and get onboard with what they’re doing, and write to the County Commissioners. While you’re in the writing mood, it wouldn’t hurt to let our Black Mountain officials know your thoughts. We need to stop them before it’s too late!”
I agreed wholeheartedly, and got right on the laptop to write my objections.