The support went beyond a core group of library friends groups. Families with children, senior citizens and people with little personal stake in the matter all stood up and spoke for the Felton, La Selva, Branciforte and Garfield Park branches.
Last week, we asked in an editorial whether Felton residents want a public library. Their show of support for their community branch — frankly, a larger and more passionate response than almost any other public agency gets when cuts are on the table — makes the answer obvious.
Yes, residents in Felton and the surrounding community do want their branch to remain open and active in the community.
The Library Joint Powers Authority heard those people and will head back to the drawing board to figure out a new solution that will keep all the branches open with more hours.
It shows that the democratic process still works: When the people want something, leaders listen. With this week’s show of support, leaders have to look beyond dollars-and-cents savings to what the people want and why they want it. Even if one person doesn’t use the library, his or her neighbor might.
The Felton branch, with its rich history and passionate supporters, should remain open. We urge library leaders, when a decision does lie before them, to vote in a way that represents the people, even if it means fewer improvements in the short term. The loss of Felton Branch Library would take a chunk out of Felton’s identity as a thriving town friendly to families and business.