By Mary O’Keefe
On Tuesday Congressman David Dreier toured the La Crescenta Library with members of the CV Town Council, past and present, and librarian Marta Wiggins.
The congressman brought about $1.3 million of federal funds to the table for the library construction.
“I remember when Danette [Erickson] first came to us with the proposal for the library,” said Alisa Do, with Dreier’s office.
In 2002, Erickson, who is a member with both the CVTC and Friends of the Library, went to Dreier’s Washington, D.C. office to ask for support.
“We sat down and she walked me through the whole proposal,” Do said.
“This was never just about a library,” Erickson said. “It was about a community meeting place, the center of our community.”
Erickson explained that La Crescenta needed a central point where kids could come after school and organizations could hold meetings. Dreier immediately supported the idea and got the funds through the annual appropriations process.
“At the time there was money available for construction,” Dreier said.
Wiggins led Dreier though the new facility that was full of patrons. The library opened its doors to the public in mid-January, with its grand opening on Jan. 29. Since then there has been a non-stop stream of children and adults taking advantage of the computers, comfortable chairs and, of course, shelves of books.
“Since our opening we have [signed up] more than 2,000 new members,” Wiggins said.
“That was double what you expected, wasn’t it?” Dreier asked.
Wiggins also underestimated the volunteer spirit of La Crescenta.
“I first called for volunteers to help fill the shelves. I thought I would get about 20 people. I prepared for 40 and 72 showed up,” Wiggins said.
Both adults and children continue to sign up. Wiggins is now going through the application process for those volunteers.
Dreier said he was impressed with the advanced technology including self-check out, the wireless capabilities and the number of computers available.
Dreier viewed the medallion set in the center of the library floor donated by the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley, the stained glass windows and the murals.
“Libraries like this are important to communities. We need to make sure the United States is competitive in the global market. The best way to do that is through education. It is important to our security and our economic future,” Dreier said.