Dear Robson Valley Residents,

I have been an employee of the McBride & District Public Library for the last 15 years. That is just about half of my life…which makes libraries very important to me. I was born and raised in this valley and McBride is where my husband and I call home with our two boys. I plan to raise my family here and the library is a very important part of that. Without a library, not only would I not have a job, but this town would feel like a big void is missing. A library is the HEART of a community, and without HEART, this town would no longer be my home.

A question that has been haunting me lately… does the average person realize what level of FREE service a library provides? Does the average person realize what OUR library provides? In my 15 years of employment our library has done an endless amount of programs for all ages. I would like to outline some of my favorite programs and memories:

– Over 60 children registered for our Robson Valley Explorer Program. A program where children explore their community by earning badges. We partnered with 27 local businesses for this program.

– A core group of seniors who learned how type, send an email, search the internet, scan an old family photo. We also offer 1/2 hour one-on-one sessions for anyone needing help with their device.

– A group of 18 children & their caregivers meet to socialize, play & learn. We give them the space to be able to connect & learn from eachother.

– A 4-year-old boy learning to cope with his emotions by practicing breathing to calm himself down using a “feather breath” that he learned in kids library yoga class.

– A group of 20 nine-year-olds being introduced to lego robotics

– A young family spending their Friday night reading in the “library boat”

– Watching people reminisce over my grandmother’s saddle in the local museum display.

To me these things are priceless! Things that a dollar value cannot be placed upon. I am pretty sure I’m not alone in saying that the average person often spends money where it is not a necessity. For example, my family has a subscription to Netflix. We don’t need Netflix, but we pay $7.99 per month for the service. We get entertainment value out of that $95.88 per year.

I would also like to encourage residents to take a look at their current tax breakdown. You will soon find that we are paying a significant amount of $$ each year to all the other great services that this area has to offer… so why does it seem like the value of a sustainable building for the library and museum is too much to ask? I value my library and so do the multiple families, numerous seniors and youth of our valley. My biggest fear is, if this doesn’t happen now, then when? Our buildings are deteriorating quickly, and it will only be a matter of time before our buildings will reach the end of life. I want our generation and the generations to come to be spending time learning, growing, socializing in a healthy environment. If we don’t get a a different space, the future of the library and museum is uncertain. I for one do NOT want to take that chance.

So I now come to the point of all this. Our library needs a new home. Our museum needs A HOME. We have outgrown our current space. I don’t think the average person realizes the current state of our buildings. I want my children to have a library in their future. I want my future grandchildren to have a library. If something is not done, we WILL NOT have a home for the library or museum. All small town politics aside, the fact is we need a new space. Endless hours spent by volunteers have proved that the most economic and sustainable choice is 521 Main Street. Save our library & give our museum a home for the future… before our current home runs out of life.

Martina Wall