Keep Mason County Public Library Downtown

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REGARDING THE EXPANSION AND POSSIBLE RELOCATION OF THE MASON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

It is the opinion of the Maysville Young Professionals Network (MYPN) that the Mason County Public Library should remain in downtown Maysville and not pursue relocation on top of the hill. Research shows that young professionals in our community and around the country are seeking attractive, lively downtowns, with
resources that are easily accessible to pedestrians. Therefore, we believe that a decision to relocate the library into an area with little foot-traffic would hinder MYPN in its mission to attract and retain young people to our area, and would be detrimental not only to downtown Maysville but also to the Mason County Public Library itself.

One of our library's best attributes is its accessibility by pedestrians and its proximity to other downtown resources. The library is an extraordinary hub for diverse people ranging from youth, to tourists, to immigrants, to adults without internet access. These patrons use the library to apply to colleges and jobs, find doctors, connect with local resources, and generally better their lives. Many of these community members live downtown, and would not access these resources if they were not within walking distance of their homes or were not well-connected to sidewalks. Keeping our library downtown makes the most sense from public health and community development perspectives due to the lack of sidewalks and safe pedestrian traffic on the hill.

It is also important to acknowledge the multitude of similar resources already available on the hill. For example, the Maysville Community and Technical College library is a wonderful resource with WiFi, books, videos, and quiet study spaces already open to the public and available to those who live further from downtown. Moving the Mason County Public Library into a nearby location would be a duplication of resources and would abandon those who rely on the services downtown. We believe it would have unfortunate economic and social ramifications.

Furthermore, MYPN has received a clear message from local young professionals that the library's downtown location is integral to their daily lives. If we hope to continue to grow our community and encourage millennials and young families to embrace Maysville, we should not move a popular, publicly-funded resource out of their grasp.

MYPN is excited to hear that the Mason County Public Library needs to expand, and we see its need to grow as a wonderful testament to the library's value in our community. However, we need the Mason County Public Library to continue to support a vision of a dynamic, accessible downtown, which is and should remain a vibrant and integral part of our county's social and economic development. We need the library to maintain its location downtown to draw traffic to other businesses and restaurants in the area. Removing such an asset would lessen its pulse, and negatively affect many who rely on its services.



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