Libraries Promote Community, Economy

Sep 22, 2011 by

Carla Willhoit with books waiting for their library

by Tonya Strickland for The Tribune

Carla Willhoit’s enthusiasm to bring a library to the small community of Templeton is immeasurable, but the sight of boxed books stacked high in her garage paint a picture of her commitment. The 89-year-old resident is a founding member of the Templeton Community Library Association and a longtime advocate of the benefits libraries bring to communities.

Before Templeton’s last library, housed in its volunteer fire department, closed in the 1970s, she remembers one man who spent hours reading and talking to those who came and went. “I can still picture him,” Willhoit said. “He’d spend all day reading, and it was a social thing, a place to gather.”

She and about 15 other volunteers have met at least monthly over the past 11 years to re-create such a place. It would have the traditional benefits of a community hub, but also has modern-day advantages. “We’re not talking about old buildings with tall dusty stacks,” association board member Melinda Reed said. “We’re talking about an airy space with e-books and Internet — a technology center — as well as a place for (books) and poetry.”

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