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June 19, 2014

EDITORIAL: Forging ahead

Library works to stay relevant

TERRE HAUTE — Life in the digital world has changed drastically for many community institutions. But the Vigo County Public Library, which has navigated various minefields of change in recent years, has shown it can adapt, even improve.

We’ve marveled at two stories published in the past week that give us a glimpse inside a public agency working to ensure it remains vital and valued in the high-tech arena of the 21st century.

The first told of the beginning stages of a $500,000 renovation of both wings of the downtown library building. While intense financial pressures the past few years hit the library system, as it did all public entities in wake of the recession and state-mandated tax caps, the board and its administrators were up to the task of managing through the pressures. This major renovation demonstrates that smart and diligent financial planning can bear fruit.

The renovations are well-thought out and include new carpeting and fresh configuration for shelving books. A new teen section will be added and reference desk relocated to a more prominent location. And that’s just the start.

The county’s library is a sparkling architectural feature of downtown Terre Haute. This renovation will certainly help keep the inside of the structure as dynamic and interesting as the outside.

The other development involves a much smaller amount of money, but it will go a long way in achieving a worthwhile goal. The board has accepted a $19,866 grant to place years of microfilm newspaper archives into digital format. The value of this project is that the newspapers to be digitized are the oldest of the old, dating back to 1825. The results of the project will be to make these old volumes far more accessible to researchers and genealogists in the future.

We applaud the library and its board for its forward thinking and hard work to keep itself relevant in a rapidly changing technological world. Our community benefits greatly from the library’s efforts and vision.

Reader poll results

Recently, the Reader Poll at Tribstar.com asked:

Was it appropriate for the Obama administration to swap five Taliban prisoners for captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl?

Results: 295 votes were cast.

• Yes — 68 votes, 23.05 percent

• No — 215 votes, 72.88 percent

• Not sure — 12 votes, 4.07 percent

New Reader Poll

Should the U.S. take aggressive military steps to beat back the insurgents threatening the Iraqi government?

To vote, visit www.tribstar.com.

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