To the Editor:
The members of the Board of Directors of the DeKalb Public Library, as well as the staff, are indeed disappointed that the request made for a grant to help fund the much needed expansion of the library facilities was denied by the Illinois State Library. However, that does not end the necessity for funding to meet the desperate need for more space in the 80-year-old building to adequately serve the current population of DeKalb.
The Illinois State Library funding agency encouraged the Board of Directors to resubmit the grant proposal next year. With that in mind, the DeKalb Public Library Community Fundraising Committee decided to continue informing the general public about the need for more space for books and equipment and for adequate room for staff to work without being crowded into the deplorable basement corners of the facility.
To generate the support needed to fund an adequate library facility for the DeKalb citizenry, the public needs to be aware of the inadequacies of the current facility. The only way to make that possible is to continue making the inadequacies known to the public. A volunteer group of DeKalb women headed by me, Mary Beth Van Buer, has been making presentations to organizations in the community with an emphasis on the history of the library. To date, the committee has been not only well received but also thanked by these organizations for bringing the deplorable conditions of the DeKalb Public Library to their attention.
Groups and organizations can request presentations for their members by calling Mary Beth at 815-756-8677. We also urge groups and organizations to participate in fundraisers the volunteer group is offering for public support.
Quality libraries and schools make the community more desirable for those wishing to make DeKalb their home. Everyone should support this very important project. DeKalb needs a library designed for a 21st century city with a population of approximately 42,084, not a library appropriate for the DeKalb of the 1930s with its population of approximately 8,545.
Mary Beth Van Buer
Chairwoman, DeKalb Public Library Community Fundraising Committee