New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | August 18, 2019

Editorial: Staff and supporters must continue to promote Charles City’s Library

By Andre Jones | June 9, 2019 8:25 pm

Charles City County’s Library opened its doors for the first time on Sunday, June 9. But now that the public has access to it, the question is how long will they come? That’s why the staff and supporters of the library must make a continuous push for it to be successful.

Let’s start off by saying that the facility is very beautiful and spacious. Moving from inside the courthouse into its own venue is the first step to being successful. The next step that library staff have already confirmed is extended and more hours for patrons. One thing that wasn’t mentioned but is evident by the opening is a lot more room for privacy on computers and meeting rooms for gatherings. Those are easily positives for the new facility.

But now the library will have to continue to keep supporters and the community involved to make the nearly $4 million investment a success. The completion of the library marks the completion of every locality in the Commonwealth of Virginia having a public library to access. The question that is posed now revolves around if it’s too late for Charles City?

It’s not the fault of the supporters of the construction of the library as they have pushed for the facility for decades. However, over those 20-plus years, technology has evolved to a point where research can be done on the Internet. The new Charles City facility isn’t just a place with books as it does have computers, the Richard M. Bowman History Center, and hands-on learning areas for children. The new building is trying to keep up with the changes in technology, but are they too far behind?

That is when the staff and supporters of the library have to step up. The Charles City Library Campaign Committee have already done their part by raising almost all of their funds to support their portion of the construction and interior design. Now, staff of the new building will have to come up with services and programs to keep patrons entertained and engaged.

Similar to New Kent’s relocation of the Heritage Public Library, the Charles City branches new building should increase traffic in the early months. But unlike its counterpart across the Chickahominy River, the county’s population along with projected increase in Internet in the county will be factors for the library. It is going to be a true test and challenge for the library, but if the enthusiasm shown by supporters is any indication, they should be able to handle it.

Charles City’s Library can be the new centerfold of a historical county. A picture is worth a thousand words, and they are all written in books inside of the new facility.