Non-users should also remember that the library can assist a community in ways they may not realize beyond the “quality of life” argument. Children are able to obtain materials they cannot get at their school library. In a down economy the library can be a savior for those looking for a job or trying to improve their skills. Even non-users should realize that such assets buoy the economy and our way of life.
In addition, we have had several “non-users” who discover their personal computer, printer, or Internet connection has stopped working and find salvation at the library. Even something as simple as the need for tax forms have proved invaluable for those that see themselves as “non-users.”
It’s easy to scoff at a “tax” if you perceive to get nothing out of it. But that belief is simply a myth when it comes to public libraries. They truly benefit everyone whether you take advantage of the institution or not. Libraries are a valuable part of the community in ways that aren’t always readily apparent.
David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at email@example.com.