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What Do You Think?

April 10, 2010

The question posted Wednesday on The Herald-Mail's Web site was: How much would you be inconvenienced if the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown closed for renovation without opening a temporary branch downtown?

"Every time I am in the library, it is buzzing with activity. It would be a shame to lose such a valuable service, even temporarily."

"When the economy is down, library usage goes up. Those who have been using it to search or apply for jobs; get books, DVDs and music; or upgrade their computer skills need access."

"It's not going to do any real harm to be shut down temporarily. I take my grandson every few weeks and he loves it there. Looking forward to the renovations."

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"Not at all. If I need to go to the library, I can go to one in Smithsburg. I do not frequent the library because I can research what I need to know online or use Kindle to read a book of interest."

"Yes. The library is more than just books. You can do research in the Western Maryland Room - check out your family history, see what has occurred in the area over the years, do research of all types. There are many activities that go on at the library."

"Had the system opted to create a North End branch, which would have had support from the affluent and well-connected, they could have moved all administrative offices to that site if it were a large enough building. That would have freed up space for the expansion needed for the downtown patrons. For example, the old Sears building could be remodeled and become the North End branch. That site is on a bus route and has adequate parking."

"This is going to be a colossal pain. Instead of being able to go to a library that is within easy walking distance, if we need anything, I have to get in the car and drive to one of these 'satellite' libraries, which are nowhere near as well-equipped as the central library. Put a temporary spot downtown and let's get this over with quickly."

"I can't imagine going 18 months without being able to get books. My family reads every day. I love taking my two young daughters to the library to encourage their love of books and learning. I can't afford to buy all of these books. It's fantastic to be able to borrow them. I hope the county and library can find a suitable temporary location while the renovations are being done."

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