Recently someone who had lived in South Africa for years gave me a list of books by authors who write about Africa. None of the authors was familiar to me, but I did not want to buy them so decided to try the Rhinelander District Library first. With the exception of one author, our library was able to provide all the books. As amazing as this is, I cannot say that I was surprised, because having used this library for 44 years, I know what great resources and great services are available for all ages. However, I can assure you that the person who recommended the books will be greatly surprised!
People who live in cities have a hard time imagining what is available in small towns such as Rhinelander. It occurred to me how sad it is that in all the time we have lived here, the library has never been overfunded, but its budget is nearly always in jeopardy of being cut.
Andrew Carnegie recognized the importance of libraries more than a hundred years ago. Between 1883 and 1929, more than 2,500 Carnegie libraries were built. In later years, few towns that requested a Carnegie grant were refused, and you can still see these libraries all across the U.S. Libraries may never go out of “style,” even with the newer technologies.
The services provided by our library are outstanding and invaluable to our community and available to everyone, from babies to the elderly. Those services will not be improved by cutting the already basic budget. Neighboring towns in several directions have built new libraries or additions in recent years. It really shows when a community values such institutions.
Marilyn Norden, Rhinelander