To the Editor:
As a volunteer working with Grand County residents who are unemployed, I have learned valuable lessons, which I’d like to share.
I was informed by staff at the Colorado Workforce (the state employment service) that “Very seldom is there the opportunity to submit a job application on paper. Available jobs are posted online and job applications are usually submitted online.”
But hundreds of locals do not have a computer. Some have a computer, but don’t have access to the Internet.
Residents without jobs desperately need and depend upon library computer and wireless services to search for and apply for jobs. When people find jobs, they become self-sustaining. They not only support themselves, they also support local businesses, pay taxes, participate in community projects, volunteer their time and resources and help their neighbors.
From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2013, the county libraries documented 43,671 uses of the library computers. An additional 31,774 uses were by people with their own computers who needed wireless services provided by the library. A lot of these people need our libraries to find jobs to put food on the family table. Cutting the days and/or hours of library availability will negatively impact our residents.
Let’s invest in what really matters. Libraries are our window into the world. Knowledge, inspiration, creativity, understanding, growth, skills, exploration, jobs — these dividends benefit the whole community. Please vote “yes” to support — not cut — one of our county’s greatest resources: our libraries.