Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vote means library will live "happily ever after" by John Matuszak

It's a story with a happy ending.

A beloved institution that has brought pleasure to generations is threatened with financial ruin, and the community rallies to make sure that it survives.

Think "It's a Wonderful Life," with maybe John Wayne and the cavalry thrown in for good measure.

Bexley came through trailing clouds of glory Nov. 3 to approve a levy for its library, which has suffered severe cuts in state funding.

The issue passed by an astounding 77 percent of the vote. I have been covering tax issues for 20 years and have never seen numbers like that for any tax levy. I would have considered 60 percent a landslide.

Way to go, Bexley. You should be very proud of yourselves.

Bexley Public Radio had the great privilege to be a part of that campaign with a week-long series of broadcasts from the library that featured the literary lights and community leaders of Bexley eloquently expressing their love for this institution.

One after another, these writers - Bob Greene, D.G. Fulford, Robert Shook, Kevin Boyle, Harvey Wasserman, Michael J. Rosen, and many others - spoke with passion about what the library means to them and the city. Greene, whose books have chronicled Bexley's past and present, said he couldn't imagine Main Street without the library, "the heart of the city."
Josh Radnor, actor and screenwriter, took the time to call in from California to say that he still stops by the library when he is in town.

The week concluded with a marvelous testimonial on the importance of literacy from children's book artists Christopher and Jeanette Canyon.

Best-selling authors, activists, capitalists, poets, storytellers, historians, librarians, students, all eagerly offered to lend their time and talents to talk about the library.

What started as a celebration of the library became a pageant of the comunity's cultural life, as representatives from the Bexley Community Book Club, the JCC Jewish Book Fair, Gallery Players theatre and other organizations chimed in.
Everyone unhestitatingly volunteered to speak on behalf of the library. I had 15 years of contacts and a list of more than 90 writers with Bexley connections to draw from. Suggestions came from everywhere for potential guests. I barely scratched the surface of this small city's brain trust. We could have done three weeks of broadcasts of people willing to extol the virtues of the Bexley Library.

I have said it before and I'll say it again, that I believe that no other community in Franklin County has the rich intellectual and artistic life to be found in Bexley - in its galleries, the Drexel art cinema house, Capital University's Conservatory of Music, the JCC.

But speaker after speaker stated that it all begins at one place - the Bexley Library.

The voters made it abundantly clear that they want to see the library survive and thrive. Many welcome additions to its offerings will be coming. The shelves that hold new acquisitions, almost empty due to budget cuts, will be full again.

While we trumpeted all that the library and the community has to offer, I think we also amplified the possibilities that Bexley Public Radio presents for community service. The parade of patrons that voiced their support over a week isn't something that could be duplicated in print. There are more causes that a broadcasting outlet dedicated to Bexley could tackle.

In the coming weeks, we will be seeking a more spacious and central location for our broadcasts. As always, the non-profit station seeks underwriting support to continue and expand upon the offerings now available at 102.1 FM.

Information is available by emailing wcrxlp@yahoo.com, or by visiting www.agentofcurrency.blogspot.com.

At WCRX "LP" stands for "Local Power," and we will continue to harness it for the good of the community.

In the meantime, see you at the Bexley Library.

Bexley Public Radio Foundation broadcasting as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008
Email wcrxlp@yahoo.com
Blog http://agentofcurrency.blogspot.com

Bexley Public Radio Foundation is exempt from federal taxes under IRC Section 501(c)(3). Donations are deductible from federal income taxes for individuals who itemize. Checks may identify the payee as Bexley Public Radio Foundation or WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM.

Design is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. John Matuszak.

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