Why You Should Vote YES for the Bethany Library Bond

Since 1965, the Bethany library has been an integral part of our community. From providing a safe introduction to reading for preschool children to educational opportunities for our youth, to helping adults learn new skills, we’re proud to have a library that does so much for our citizens. Now we have an opportunity to make an impact by voting for the bond to pay for a modern, fully-equipped and beautiful library for the City of Bethany

Here are some of the many reasons why you should VOTE YES on April 5:

We’re Operating a Big Library in a Small Building

There’s no question that our library is an valuable resource for the community. In fact, the Bethany public library is the sixth-busiest library in the Metropolitan Library System and yet, is one of the smallest in size.

“We are a large library operating in a small building. Our stats show we have more business, attendees, and circulation of materials than many of the other larger libraries. It’s evident we could use more space. I look to this bond as an opportunity for the community,” Daniel Fields, 15-year Bethany children’s librarian said.

In 2015, the Bethany Library held 190 programs with 5,533 people attending. Of the over 1,700 people who participated in the Summer Reading program in 2015, 51 percent were children. Last month, February 2016, 267 children attended programs at the Bethany Library, averaging about 67 children per week.

If the bond passes, our new library would be able to include more children and community members in these popular programs.

A Better Place for the Community

The impact of our current library is impressive (if you haven’t heard – check out this infographic). Imagine what we could do with more space and more resources!

“What impact does the library have on the community? We are a resource! People of the entire economic spectrum benefit by using the library. People who may be affluent enough to buy as many books as they want actually use the library too. For those who don’t have a lot, we are really a center for self improvement. If they are job-seeking, they can come here to apply online or create a résumé, or pick up resources that help them learn a new skill for employment. We are a resource of self-help for anyone who desires it,” said Fields.

This new library will impact the education of our community and will enhance our ability to come together as neighbors to make a decision to benefit our city. Currently, there isn’t a public meeting place in the City of Bethany in which citizens can gather or reserve for use. If the library bond passes, we will gain a 250-person meeting room and an additional, smaller conference room. This public meeting place will be the center for community activities and involvement.

“I have a feeling that if the bond issue passes, if the people

 decide they want it, they will never regret it.”

-Daniel Fields, children’s librarian

Experienced Architectural Design

The new library design has been carefully planned with the needs of our specific city in mind.

“The biggest influence on the design was the input we got from the homeschoolers, kids, the little ones, high school students, young adults, geriatric adults, and mature adults – the input we got from them was invaluable,” Kathy Larsen, city council member, said.

After a very detailed and thorough selection process, Dewberry Architectural Firm was chosen as the best architect to create the plans for the future library. Dewberry has experience in designing and constructing municipal libraries, and has earned a great reputation from other cities with which Dewberry worked. Dewberry has worked with cities with library budgets comparable to Bethany and was able to meet the criteria Bethany asked for in its proposal.

When Dewberry started working with Bethany, they said they have never been in a city where the people were so adamant and almost unanimously in favor of the same wants and desires for a library. Dewberry representatives said that is something they don’t often find in a city.

“If the voters say, ‘Yes,’ I think the library will be another part of what’s already developing in our city with The Children’s Center, 7-Eleven, Southern Plaza, Sears, and more. All of it is part of a bigger, powerful movement in our city, and this will be a big one if it goes through,” said Larsen.

The Impact on Future Generations

If you think about the impact of the decision the citizens of Bethany made to build a library in 1963, imagine the impact this new library will have on our future generations! This library will serve our children and their children for generations to come, ideally through 2070.

“The current generation needs to decide where the community is going. Are we going to tread water or move ahead? This is an opportunity to carry on the commitment of Bethany in 1963 and to achieve an even greater accomplishment,” Fields added.

As we continue to grow as a city, it’s important that our resources grow with it. The Bethany Improvement Foundation believes that this new library is a great step forward for the future of our city. We want you to VOTE YES April 5.

-Sponsored by the Bethany Improvement Foundation, a local non-profit organization, at no cost to the citizens or City of Bethany, Oklahoma.