Last night, I asked our local librarian, 'How are you?'
She replied candidly, 'Tired. You?'
A third person joined us for the meeting. We asked her, 'And how are you?'
The spring is a wonderful time of the year for rebirth and the intensity as our natural world regenerates itself. But the jagged weather cycles always seem to drag me down. I go from wearing shorts for three days in California-like sunshine. And then waking up to a cold, frosty morning before steady rain moves in for a few days.
Yet we persist.
Our library meeting was to explore a co-operative arrangement with various local libraries for an automated library management system (LMS). Several other towns have more money to spend (apparently), but New Ipswich and several surrounding towns operate on what I call the 'zero dollar budget'. So we're forming our own club open to all, but with our full understanding that everyone doesn't need to follow the hardscrabble approach.
For example, even though our library has an annual computer budget of $500.00, we try not to spend the money because it's better if we don't.
So our new co-operative is trying to pool our resources, separate needs from wants, and present a clear case to our respective communities that we will get much more for our dollar if we go together.
The case, I hope, will be as simple as paying a fraction (say 1/5th) of the cost for a suitable, bare-necessity system that we all share. If we go alone, we bear the full cost of the same bare-necessity system.
Our meeting succeeded, I believe, because we all clearly see the concept of needs versus wants in our zero-dollar budget situations. So at our next meeting, we'll organize our respective needs versus wants lists before we solicit money for the LMS.
And given the foreboding economy and the welcome American return towards being frugal, I suspect that our local libraries will rise again as we spend less money to buy our own books.