Why Not Above “Above Average?”

You might have gotten the “Staying in Touch” newsletter from the county government this past week.  The big story in the newsletter was the result of a survey of Washington County residents which gave a high rating to quality of life here. 

I agree — we do have a high quality of life in Washington County.  Good schools.  Good parks.  Good roads.  Good libraries.

One of the pie charts caught my eye:  it showed that 61% of county residents surveyed thought the quality of county services was “good.” 18% thought they were “excellent” while virtually the same number (20%) thought “fair.”    It reminded me a bit of the Garrison Keillor line about “above average children.” 

My reaction was, “good” is fine, but why not excellent? 

We believe we have a good (even very good) library system.  But we think it could be excellent. 

That’s why Partners was created:  to provide a way for residents to make a good library system even better.  Tax money alone just doesn’t do it.  Every GREAT library system has a private, fundraising group helping it along.

In our first year, we raised money so the Library could buy an extra 2,000 books (mostly children’s books and some large print books for adults).  Our new campaign is raising money to get tablets into children’s sections of our libraries.  Librarians believe kids will use library services even more — check out books, do research, access programs like “Homework Help” — if there are tablets available.

Making our libraries more attractive and useful for our kids seems like a great investment.  So, we’re hoping to raise $15,000, which would buy 50 tablets for the six branches. 

And we are looking not only for money — but for people who are willing to spend a few hours a month to help make our good library system great.  So, send a check — or send us your thoughts!

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