For the first time in 83 years, the Belmont County District Library, formerly known as the Martins Ferry Public Library, has a one-mill, five year levy on the ballot in the election next month. The decision to place a levy on the ballot was not done lightly but the needs of the library and the lack of adequate funding necessitated this move. The boundaries of the library were updated by the State Library of Ohio so that we are able to request a levy. As I visit the five branches and see the usage at all locations, I realize that libraries today have changed to become an integral part of the communities they serve. Last year the library system circulated 318,000 items, and over 9,000 people attended programs at all locations, including Bethesda, Bridgeport, Flushing, Powhatan Point, and Shadyside.
My father was in the military so I lived around the world and one of the first things we did after each move was to locate a public library. Libraries were my second home where I could visit my old friends and make new ones. Not only did I develop a love of reading but a deep appreciation for the various libraries that contained so much of interest and provided a way to travel even more through books. Curiosity is an important trait and should be nurtured in children and what better place to develop this than in a library where one has access to everything the world has to offer. One can read adventure, biographies, history, sports, and more, and the power of imagination can transcend your location to place you in another world, in another time. Libraries still have the power to create learning for the joy of learning and encourage everyone to dream and explore all that life has to offer.
I am requesting your support and vote on November 5th. Libraries are still valuable in their communities and enrich lives in ways we cannot place a value on and are worth supporting. If you have not do recently, please visit a library and see how relevant they are in today's world. Visit our website at mfpl.org for information.
Thank you and I hope you can support us!
Yvonne O. Myers, Director
Belmont County District Library