Will Byron get a library?
BYRON — Will Byron City Council members launch a feasibility study for a municipal library/community center after their meeting April 25?
A group of residents and other interested people is striving to convince city council members to do just that.
Group members include Jane Cabaya, a local resident with extensive experience in the library field, Sue Briske, Nancy Nehring, Judy Jacobsen-Schmalzbauer, Kelly McLain, Gayle Jaben, Jammie Hanson, and JoAnn Brooks. Volunteers include Don Huston, Joni Prigge, Joan Skare, and Sue Conant. Organizations supporting the idea include SELCO - Southeastern Libraries Cooperating, the Byron Community Foundation, Byron public schools, and the Byron Lions Club.
Briske said she is extremely pleased with the support the group has received as evidenced by the number of people who have signed the petitions the group is circulating.
The committee was formed in the fall of 2015. It's presentation to the Byron city council on April 25 will be the culmination of years of work by the committee.
In addition to circulating petitions, Cabaya and her group have conducted public meetings and traveled to nearby towns to collect information about other libraries. On April 1, they held a festival at the new primary school to demonstrate the types of activities a new library might host. An estimated 100 people came to see the displays and participate in the various activities. There was a Lego and robotics table, a seminar by a dietician discussing sugar intake, a talk by Jerry Pruett - a birder with worldwide experiences — about a trip he took to Cuba, numerous books, and a therapy dog who 'works' at the Kasson Library by listening to young readers.
There were also sketches from artist Ken Nyberg of a proposed bear sculpture for the library that would match the bear sculptures in front of the high school and primary school. The various bears were sitting on or reading books. Visitors were asked to vote for their favorite.
The Rochester Public Library Bookmobile stops in Byron twice each week. Cabaya explained that between 2009 and 2014, there were an average of 3,222 Byron patrons visiting the book mobile per year and there were an average of 13,478 materials in circulation during that time.
Will taxpayers support a library?
Even if there was enough money to help build a library, running it will cost taxpayers money.
Is it an amenity they want?
Time will tell.
Cabaya urges anyone interested in a Byron library to attend the city council meeting at city hall at 6 p.m. April 25.