Viewpoint: Signpost applauds passing of library bonds in election

It passed.

The library bond election held in June for Weber County Library capital improvements received a total number of 26,315 votes and passed by 54.33 percent.

In case you missed it, the bond election was held by paper ballot, and all residents in Weber County could participate in the election. The public voted in favor of the Weber County Library System receiving $45 million for repairs, improvements and expansion.

The Signpost applauds the public for engaging in its civic duty of voting and making the bonds for the libraries a reality. With the bonds, the public library system will not only improve the existing buildings, but also build a new library in Roy, along with making improvements in all the different branches.

Libraries are more than stuffy buildings filled with books and homeless people. Libraries are community centers that engage the public in education programs, book clubs, cooking classes, dance classes and film showings. Libraries are a cultural hub that teach us more about others and ourselves.

A safe haven for the public to meet and discuss issues, use the free Wi-Fi connection and even learn new languages are reasons enough why the bond election needed to pass. These free amenities will now be improved to meet the demands of the public.

Some would argue that libraries will soon become mere computer labs due to the dawning of the technology era. We say that libraries are excellent venues for all sorts of community innovations involving technology, books, magazines and periodicals tirelessly used by the public and students, or even beyond.

Libraries no longer offer only books or the occasional CD or DVD. At certain libraries around the country, one can check out power tools, plots of land for growing vegetables or even therapy animals. The Signpost is glad the bond election passed and hopes to see the Weber County Library System continue to expand and progress following these trends.

Given the use statistics of Weber County libraries over the past several years, it looks like expansion and progression is quickly becoming a reality. Use of Weber County libraries is growing at a rate of 9 percent each year. The libraries offer e-book checkout with one click, and the bond would make checking out more electronic equipment available. We respect places like the main library in Salt Lake City as an example of what libraries can be, with its delicate connecting of new technology and books to create a public space that can be used by everyone.

Improvements made to the main branch, the library located on Historic Jefferson Avenue and 25th Street, will also improve the neighborhood. We think the ongoing urban revival project currently being built across from this library will not only provide another gathering place for members of the Ogden community, but make the area safer.

While the bond would increase taxes for home and business owners ($2.63 per month for a $161,000 home and $4.77 a month for a business property of the same value), we believe this is a small price to pay for a few buildings that can potentially change the lives of the citizens it serves.

Now that the bond has passed and our library system in Weber County is secure, The Signpost also encourages the public to get out and utilize the library more. Check out a book, meet a friend for a conversation, take the kids to play. Continue to support the Weber County library system, both with your voice and your patronage, a system that provides free knowledge and programs to those who need it most.