...the product of a bond measure that passed in 2000 at the height of the Internet bubble. None of the libraries currently have a budget to hire employees.This is where the good news enters this library story. The "Friends of the Seven Trees Library" have taken on the unusual role of administering an "unofficial" loan program with the donated books collected by the group. Rather than selling the books, the Friends are, in effect, running their own little library system.
Still, Seven Trees’ shiny two-story building, which includes a first-floor community center that opened in October, attracts a steady stream of would-be library patrons.
Now Ms. Hashii, a retired library clerk, keeps a mental list of her readers’ needs as she sorts donations. A man with white hair and thick glasses says he is on the lookout for large-print books. Mothers come to read with their children on the one folding chair in the little space, so Ms. Hashii looks for more picture books. A Spanish-speaking woman is teaching herself to read and has asked for easy Spanish books.There is still hope in a world in which the average citizen manages to circumvent the failures of government officials, local and national. But what a waste to let these buildings sit empty and unused like this. Why didn't some of those billions of dollars in stimulus money go to create jobs like these instead of being wasted the way it all apparently was by being thrown into some black hole that failed miserably to create a meaningful number of new jobs of any type?
“It’s something the community really seems to be taking to,” Ms. Hashii said.