Library deserves community’s support

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To the Editor:

COVID converted me. While hunkered down, I discovered what many others already knew — libraries, including the Vineyard Haven Public Library — are not just about books. While we, of late, found new ways to go about our daily lives, so too has the VHPL been quietly transforming itself into a vibrant community center. For a start, just note the listings on its website to see the array of offerings to suit any interest. I have listened to author talks, recollections of world travelers, cooking instruction, literature classes, language instruction, presentations by lawmakers and policy makers, and much more.

During the summer, when entertaining visiting grandchildren, we engaged in toddler time — reading, dancing, arts and crafts. I was especially grateful for the individual attention and access by appointment this summer under the generous and helpful guidance of the Vineyard Haven Library’s children’s librarian. And a most anticipated treat was the availability of kits to pick up on Saturdays, containing an art or craft project on a particular theme, and a treat! Because my grandchildren are early French speakers, I was even able to refresh my forgotten high school French online through the library! 

The hardworking staff has always sought ways to bring programming to a receptive and interested community. The programs are there for us. The space is not. If you have attended a program in the basement of the Vineyard Haven library, you know it is dim, uncomfortable, and now in the age of COVID, poorly ventilated. The Tisbury taxpayers support the building and staff basics as a town service. All other “extras,” including the planned community room addition, are supported by community contributions, gifts, and grants. Community meeting spaces in Tisbury are scarce, so the planned community room at the library will fill a big need. I hope that all of you will experience an epiphany as I did discovering the benefits offered by the VHPL. And now thanks to the generosity of a prominent West Chop family through the Sibbri Foundation, a $50,000 challenge grant will match dollar for dollar all gifts and pledges until Dec. 31. Please open your wallets wide to help this vision come true. It’s easy! Donations can be made online at vhlibrarybuildingfund.org or by check to VHPL Building Fund.

Melinda Loberg
Vineyard Haven