Library Gives Community Strong Sense of Place

Our ImagineIF Library is one of Kalispell’s most important cornerstones

By Margie Strainer

Our ImagineIF Library is one of Kalispell’s most important cornerstones. It is our public library, a community hub where people of all ages, income, race, gender, and beliefs can gather and access free information. Our library gives our community a strong sense of place by offering all kinds of learning activities through a vast range of resources. Summer and winter reading programs, story time, job search help, resume writing, interview skills, K-12 school resources, filling out government paperwork for health insurance or taxes are all supported at ImagineIF.

Where else can one explore medical information for free and travel the world without a penny? In a world of fast-paced change and burgeoning information, our library offers a wide range of experiences and new ideas. We can get delightedly lost in fabulous stories or be reminded by preserved history how libraries have been torchbearers of facts against misinformation. Libraries promote the progress of knowledge. When I sit in the magazine and newspaper area upstairs, many are online who couldn’t be otherwise. I hear people learning English and sit with those who may not have a roof over their heads at night. Library programs bring books to shut-ins and community resources outside the library are highlighted and dispersed.

The library’s physical building protects one of democracy’s most important public institutions and boosts our community in countless ways. Many studies have shown the connection of local libraries and vibrant local economies. This is noted in Kalispell, as the library was in one plan to be a keystone in a development project. Wherever a library is, potential costumers are also.

The ImagineIF Library deserves a forward looking set of community leaders who know that the current library has been too small for decades and needs a consistent centrally located home supported as the essential public service that it is! Getting a library card is an important step to being a responsible member of society. Investing in the future of our library is a responsibility crucial to the future of Kalispell and the Flathead Valley.

Margie Strainer