Some 2,000 years ago, a tragic fire took place in Egypt that still affects us today. The casualty was the Great Library of Alexandria, the product of three centuries of collecting, and the ancient world's major center of learning. The flames destroyed more than a building. Also coming to a fiery end were hundreds of thousands of priceless works on science, literature, and all branches of knowledge that, like an extinct species, could never be replaced.
The loss of this legendary repository demonstrates, for all time, how a library can serve as a community's soul, the heart of its cultural life, the catalyst of budding young minds. While jobs, hospitals, roads, and parks are all undeniably important, so, too, is educational growth for people of all ages. Even when Americans were struggling to survive in the depths of the Great Depression, this need for tax-funded cultural projects found expression in the popular saying, "Bread and roses, too."
Soon local citizens will decide the fate of a library levy-which has been overdue for years. The levy, too, would create a new main entrance for the Wood County Public Library closer to the parking lot, a change that many of the physically challenged greatly need.
As you go to the polls, please remember what an important role libraries play in all of our lives, and consider voting Yes.