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Former Wisconsin State Legislator’s Dream For Luxemburg Library Dims

August 1, 2013

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One of the finest moves that I felt former State Representative Lary Swoboda ever did was when he donated many boxes of books to the Village of Luxemburg.  There had been a desire among some to have an actual library constructed in the village, but failing to secure the funds, or more likely not being able to persuade residents that the money was needed for such an undertaking, Lary decided to help out in his own way.

Having more books than could be counted, ranging from a wide variety of political and historical reads to the murder mysteries of Margaret Truman and Catholic intrigue of Andrew M. Greeley he made a large donation to the village.  The purpose of the donation was so that in spite of the inability of residents to build an actual library there could still be a resource for people to turn to for information and entertainment.  I saw that move as a noble undertaking.

So I was a bit surprised when I called the Luxemburg Village Hall on Wednesday asking how one might donate books or make donations to further the project.  I was told not to send anymore books as the ones Lary donated were just in piles, and some of the boxes were not yet even opened.  There was no sorting or processing of the books, and there was no one to even volunteer as librarian for any amount of time during the week.  I was further informed that there were was a need for bookcases to store the books.  When I asked if people read any of them there was hesitation and then the response that if someone takes a book ‘we ask they just bring it back’.

Quite a system, indeed.

I am not sure if Lary had a text among those he donated about organizing volunteers, or lessons on how to complete a large project so that it can be beneficial to a community, but if it were such a book I suggest it be read.

I grew up in a small town of 400 people, and we had a functioning library. Still do.  I know the worth it provided to me as a young person, and so was taken aback when informed yesterday that there was not much of a need for a library in Luxemburg.  I have been to Luxemburg, and I can assure my readers, as with all small towns, there is a need.

If I lived in Luxemburg I would gather two or three townspeople, and start to seek out anyone who might have a bookcase to donate.  I would then seek out someone with some lumber and skill, and ask if they might want to help some Saturday morning  to make a project for the books to he housed.  I might seek community donations so a run could be made to Shopko for the purchase of some cheap shelving.  I would ask at the local church for a couple folks who might donate time each week to staff the library room.

It is just plain ineptitude that the gracious and forward thinking donation made by Swoboda is not being put to better use.

The man I am today is because of the books from my local library when growing up.  I am hopeful that the residents of Luxemburg can find the way forward to help those young people in their community who also would be well served with a local library, even one in a room at the village hall.

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