To the Editor,

By now, most residents of the Chathams will have heard about the Library of the Chathams fund raising drive, named "Bridging Space to Place.”

Because the library is heavily used, there are issues that need to be addressed. These challenges are outlined in the literature being sent to residents, so they can fully understand the need for these upgrades and how services will be enhanced as a result of the work that needs to be done.

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Having served as Library Director of the Library of the Chathams for 32 years prior to retirement, I am fully aware of the role the Library plays as a total community center. I remember a professor in the Masters Program at the University of Michigan telling us that those librarians who work in public libraries must be prepared to serve "Womb to Tomb.” I came to fully understand that over the years as I worked in the library. I have fond memories of young children who came to the library throughout their years here, sometimes working as pages while in high school. Some went on to college, married, came back to Chatham and brought their own children to the library. One such young mother is working with the committee now raising funds.

On the other end, there are retired seniors, some living alone in apartments on Main Street, who come to the library many days of each week.

No one dictates what anyone should read or pursue and the staff is there to help, checking out materials or making access to data bases easy for all users. Students can be comfortable here while they are working on homework or enjoying world literature, or pursuing interests that could change their lives.

The digital age is wonderful and it helps to have a place in the community to follow your interests, relax and unwind a bit, feel the support of the community and grow at your own speed.

Help us continue this service with your contribution, whatever that might be. Know that you are helping Chatham nurture its own residents in multiple ways throughout the year.

Thank you,

Diane O'Brien