As a life-long library user, I felt the need to respond to Candidate Hornberger’s statements linking library funding to the money allocated by the county to the opioid crisis. Instead of condemning the county for investing in libraries, we should be applauding the foresight of the leadership in recognizing the importance of the library in fighting this problem.

One of the most important elements in the fight against opioid addiction is prevention. The library’s mission statement says it all: Champion Reading, Build Knowledge, Inspire Curiosity.

The library does all of these for children (of all ages) through its many programs – in person and online. Where else do you find a program to engage children in becoming entrepreneurs; creating art projects in all medias; teens helping others through community projects; learning about space, engineering, exotic animals; exploring books through story times and crafts; meeting real life authors; learning about other cultures with actual people from our county with different heritages? All these are available in our local community libraries.

Part of the way we prevent opioid addiction is by engaging young people to explore beyond their current situations and give them a vision of what they can accomplish by encouraging them to explore and use their natural curiosity in positive outlets. The new North East Library with its children and teens spaces will be a model of opportunities for all children to use its resources to engage and learn, and truly feel a part of larger possibilities.

Libraries are an investment in the future of Cecil County and its children. Why do you think Cecil County has experienced positive job creation compared to other Maryland counties? Businesses see that county leadership is investing in the county infrastructure which includes areas like libraries, education and parks. Businesses want to be in communities that care about their citizens and provide for not only their physical needs, but their emotional and intellectual needs.

My thanks to the county leadership for understanding the importance of libraries to our community and investing my tax dollars in the futures of all our children.

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