Support library in November election | AspenTimes.com

Support library in November election

Dear Editor:

What does the township of Khayelitsha, South Africa, near Cape Town, have in common with the city of Aspen, you might ask? It has a library!

Khayelitsha is a settlement of tin shacks and concrete-block buildings with shared outhouses. Through a “violence-prevention-through-upgrading project,” the people of the township were involved in a community-building project. It featured a paved walk linking playing fields with a plaza distinguished by a wonderful library. The library is decorated with stunning mosaic murals, meticulously put together by the local people.

I visited the library and discovered a light and open building, with ramps connecting various levels. The computer area was packed with three to five children per machine, and the other levels were filled with students looking at books or chatting quietly at tables. Their library was truly the center of learning and of the community!

We live in a different socioeconomic environment, but the value of our library as a community facility is just as great. It serves everyone – from new employees of area businesses to intellectual participants in conferences or from visitors from abroad who seek information to locals looking for a new hike or a good read.

Thanks to all of you in Aspen and the Pitkin County library district who recognize the incredible community value of our library and are willing to support the proposed enhancements by voting “yes.” And shame on any naysayers for not participating in the realization of a relatively low-cost, yet highly valuable, community treasure that will serve us well into the future.

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Suzanne Jackson

Basalt