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by Michael Strickland

A huge positive development on the literacy front is taking place in Nampa, Idaho.

In our increasingly digital world, the role of libraries as community and cultural centers has been  undervalued, and occasionally under fire.

Why do libraries still matter?

When shrinking municipal budgets combine with the nonstop technological revolution, public library services that focus on building community face-to-face, inspiring and educating patrons about art, literature, and music, and helping patrons engage in civil discourse can seem quaint. But it is precisely those shrinking budgets and the onslaught of technologically mediated life that make public libraries’ cultural and community offerings more important than ever.
I enjoyed David Morris stirring piece The Public Library Manifesto: Why Libraries Matter, and How We Can Save Them.  "More than just books and banks of computers," he writes, "libraries are still places where individuals gather to explore, interact, and imagine."
From the first floor, the stately staircase and the outdoor patio on the third floor, the new library, set to open in February, is going to be a super place to soak in some literary wisdom, meet up with a friend before we shop some of the local downtown shops, hold a meeting or read a book on the terrace.
Nampa is growing and this new library is sorely needed.

Donate and support the library ...

Since the beginning, Library Director Mark Rose and the Nampa Library Board of Trustees understood that there are some amenities for the new structure that will not be paid for with city tax dollars and that fundraising would be necessary, according to the NPL website. Those folks are approaching local groups and businesses for some major donors like the Micron gift of $380,000.

If you would like to discuss a substantial financial donation for the new library, call 468-5860. Not everyone can give at that level, so there are many other ways to contribute.

Libraries help revitalize struggling or depressed neighborhoods and downtowns. They are important partners in sustainability, according to

In Nampa, the libraries’ special collections grow out of specific community needs. Archives preserve historic artifacts, oral histories, digital history projects, and monographs relevant to the community, including minority groups.

Texas Roadhouse Fundraising Lunch and Raffle: $8 of the $10 lunch ticket goes to the library. More than 20 businesses have contributed goodies for four baskets valued at $407, $399, $356 and $291. Raffle tickets are just $2 each or six for $10. You can buy lunch and raffle tickets at the old Nampa Library or call 468-5814 or 468-5860. For a detailed breakdown of the raffle baskets click here.

You will also have a chance to have your name on the honor wall for a donation of $100, $250 or $500 with wooden book spines. This is a great way to put your own name on the library. For more information call 468-5814 or 468-5860.

I love our library.

I’m so excited for the citizens of Nampa to have a building they can be proud of and that will benefit so many. The new building will be an object of beauty that will inspire people to be their best. - Claire Connley, NPL Operations Manager

Originally posted to The Book Bear on Fri May 23, 2014 at 04:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers.

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