The Library is the Thing

Hello all!! How is summer? Hope you’re all enjoying yourselves and spending lots of time with your family and friends. I know we are!!

So you all know we bought our first home in May after months of looking and searching for the perfect place.

Now we’ve landed in the beautiful town of Okemos, just east of E. Lansing and Michigan State. As we slowly transform this house into our own forever home (you can see more pics and follow the progress on my new blog:     2 Sisters 2 Houses) we are also exploring our new neighborhood and all it has to offer.

One of the biggest selling points to this girl? We are just down the street from the local Capital Area District Libraries Okemos branch!!!

I know, right? We live down the street from the library?! How perfect and awesome is that?

The CADL library system is incredible. It boasts a whopping 13 branches throughout Ingham County and hosts nearly a dozen programs throughout the system every single day.

We frequently visited the Downtown branch when we lived at our old place, but were excited to check out our local branch just shortly after moving in. So the whole family strapped on sneakers and we took a walk to the Okemos Library.

Right when you walk into the library you are greeted by the circulation desk and children’s area. Talk about making kids feel welcome! The girls ran right into the place and made themselves at home on the block table.

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And our timing was impeccable (which rarely happens) as we arrived just in time for the Kids Reading to Dogs program. This was one of Cedella’s favorite activities last summer at my old library in Hazel Park (or Grandma’s Library as the girls call it), so I was so happy to know that our local library offered a similar program. There were several therapy dogs and a crowd of kids waiting to read to them. It was so great to see such a well-attended program!! We even ran into some friends from Holt that had come just to read to the dogs.

Sadly, Cedella was a little bit shy, and it takes her a while to warm up to new places. So she opted out of reading to the dogs in order to play and read with her Dad and Izzie.

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But the most exciting part of the trip? Cedella chose to get her first library card! That’s right. 4 years old and she insisted on getting her own card so she could check out her own Rainbow Fairy books. She even ‘signed’ her name on the form. So. Cute.

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And though we’ve been driving over an hour each way to go to the Hazel Park library to assist Grandma Linda with her Summer Reading Program every Tuesday, we can’t wait to start spending more time at the Okemos library.

But in order to keep our incredible CADL system open and able to offer such great programs they need our help. Tomorrow, Tuesday August 5th, is the primary election vote. It also happens to have a couple of very important ballot initiatives that require turn-out and positive support. CADL needs your help. Please consider voting YES to renew their millage. More information can be learned HERE.

The CADL system is 90% funded by a local tax millage. This means that state and federal dollars count for very little of what makes CADL great. What makes our libraries so fantastic is local dollars and support.

Even better? The millage rate is not set to increase, it’s merely a renewal on the same millage rate that has been in place since 2006. In a time when all prices and taxes seem to be rising, isn’t it refreshing to know that the CADL system can operate on the same amount they have since 2006?! Knowing how hard it is to balance a library budget from seeing my co-workers have to make tough financial decisions, I give the CADL director a lot of credit in this department.

A lot of people think that by voting ‘no’ to renew this millage they are somehow ‘saving’ on their taxes. And perhaps they’re right. Perhaps they will save a few hundred dollars a year on their taxes. But what does that money equate to?

At $300 in millage dollars per resident per year?

$24.95/new hardcover book = 12 new books

$17.95/new children’s book = 16 new books

$19.95/new DVD movie = 15 new movies

$34.95/new digital audiobook  = 9 new audiobooks

OR…

$300/year for UNLIMITED NEW EVERYTHING!!

That’s right. Unlimited. You can read as much as you want. You can watch as many movies as you like. You will never tire of reading the same story to your kids every night, because you can always have exciting new stories. For purely the access to new and up-to-date materials, the millage is worth passing.

But for all the other resources available at the libraries? Your dollar goes so much further.

It is a safe and quiet place for kids and teens to read, do homework and hang out.

There are hundreds of resources for job seekers, resume writers and the unemployed.

Need something to do? Attend a concert, a movie or a storytime. For FREE!

Internet service gone down or need a higher speed WIFI connection? They’ve got your back.

I can’t stress enough how invaluable our libraries are. They are more than just stacks of antiquated books and paper. They are living breathing community centers full of information, resources and activities.

If you haven’t considered voting or always forget, please let this serve as a reminder to do so. Voting at a local level is so important and really does effect and change your town for better or worse.

So vote YES tomorrow to renew the CADL millage!! Pretty please with sugar on top!!

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