Every community deserves a first-rate public library, and I hope that we will all embrace this opportunity to build one. The existing structure is bursting at the seams, with no room to expand in its current location. Through years of work and study, our library board has created a vision for a facility that can serve the island for decades.
Some argue that now is not the time, but it’s hard to imagine that the future would be a better time, when real estate and building costs will be even more expensive, and when a suitable site will no longer be available within the walkable core of Friday Harbor.
This project allows us to address a clear community need in a thoughtful way, substantially offsetting the public investment with grants and private fundraising. That approach can serve as a model for other local priorities, and in fact it already has.
Ten years ago, similar efforts resulted in a fine new hospital to care for the health of our bodies. Let us do the same now to nourish the health of our minds.