Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Pollock Pines Library Carpet Project

EDITOR:

When did our society stop believing in goals — in possibilities? (Yes, it takes hard work, sometimes many years.) I live in Pollock Pines, a lumberman’s place. I live near Camino — people of the earth — farmers live there. Four year ago, I became a member of the Friends of the Library at Pollock Pines. Our group was the guardian of a tiny library (1,272 square feet). We were a group of four and politely asked the librarian to participate (we needed five members). Much money was left to us by the group before us … and a young girl — they had raised money to keep the library going. Our group (the four of us) decided our mission or statement as a nonprofit was to save money towards moving the library to make it more convenient to get to — more parking — more opportunities for educational programs for our 700-plus children. In not one instance did any of us want to have a library that concentrated on its looks (in other words we wanted a “working” library  not a library that concentrates on book cases matching or comfortable chairs that just take up what little room there is — in my opinion).

I stepped down one year ago but never stopped talking about moving the library … this library was never meant to be a shrine. When we outgrew the first one, a second one was built … by a lumberman. It was the dream of a school board member— and I don’t know of anybody in the school system, who does not believe in educational expansion for our children (I’m an educator). I don’t care about “reading gardens”— I live in the natural paradise of the woods —just put in park benches. I live one building away from our library. For almost 14 years I have watched it — protected it — cleaned it up. I believe in books, I believe in the idea that everyone is entitled to “free” knowledge.” Sometimes late at night people are in their cars or out front, using their laptops, using the WIFI. I have worked in our neighborhood, alongside parents cleaning up bushes and trees — we want our children seen. Nobody cares if people know who we are — nobody cares about pieces of medal with our names listed or awards — we care about the children.

Back to my group’s dream of moving the library, if you are reading this, we actually came close. A much respected member of our community has land — great location — would have held the note. It was the first step and I congratulate my group on believing. Now, the sad part. Every time someone saw the amount we had — a little over $10,000 dollars — certain people would say that the people of Pollock wanted us to spend it … um. Yes, the people I talked to for three years showed interest in moving the library so they could get to it. The people of Pollock want their children (700-plus) to be able to support the work they are learning in the schools up here. And yes, they knew it would take time, money and belief. I told the group coming in the wishes of this community, but they have different beliefs. I have volunteered all my life and this is the first time I have ever disagreed with people — who are guardians of one of the oldest democratic institutions that we have in America — the free library (it is a totally American idea). But my disagreements and how I was treated and still treated is not the issue. This is the issue: I asked for donations from people for the movement and improvement of the library in Pollock Pines. I believe a public should know if the money is being spent elsewhere. I just went to their Budget/election meeting last week — where I was given their budget report that I had requested. The only thing I agree with is the money that went to the children’s program. The one thing that stood out when I got home was the expense for the carpet — at the library I was focused on another issue (the $5,000 we put away into a CD for movement) so I had read carpet but not the amount. It was $4,998.35 dollars. What? So I followed the money — on March 13, 2012 the director went before the Board of Supervisors. “Library Director recommending approval of attached budget transfer increasing revenues and appropriations by $5,000 for carpet replacement at the Pollock Pines Library as a result of a donation received from the Friends of the Library (4/5 vote required). Funding: Donations.” (Unquote File #:12-0194 Version: 1 ) It was approved and passed. Pollock pines is not its own district — we are part of Placerville. We were gathering our own money for the first steps of movement — why would we do a donation like that? Why didn’t the county help? (County building, county maintenance.) Many people — business and residential — offered to fix and paint the library. Our group was told “no,” it’s a county building. I’m confused.

The new FOL group spent about $10,000 dollars this year. Our library is now a “cute “library. Our library is 1,242 square feet. The public in Pollock Pines would not spend this kind of money on a “carpet” project — not on a library that doesn’t even have parking, not in this economy, not when our bread lines are getting longer.

I have made my views known to the people that are supposed to listen — they did not. This community is patient. They are hardworking and quiet-in the respect that they do what is needed to be done (no one cares about awards or names on strips of metal). I asked for movement and enlargement of the library. Not for matching bookcases, really expensive carpet or landscaping (we have natural landscaping — one just needs to trim it). Well there you go. I want to say congrats again to my group (we almost did it), thank you to the people in my community that believed, thank you to the wonderful person who could have worked with us on the property, and most important, to the young man that bought me six cents for the big new library someday. In closing, I would like to quote the lumberman that built both our libraries — out of kindness. When Pollock outgrew the first building, Mr. West SR. was asked how they could expand the building. His reply was, “Wouldn’t it be better to make a new one?” We need money saved to move the library. This was what I asked of our community — even my goodbye fundraiser was about bringing our nonprofits and businesses together under one roof to work on this goal. We were told would need $1.2 million — every dollar was a step towards that. We left them $13,000(plus). Every dollar is a step. January 31, 2012 they started with $17,000 plus dollars. Every dollar is a step.

FRANCESCA DUCHAMP
Pollock Pines

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 9 comments

  • EvelynJanuary 04, 2013 - 3:24 pm

    Hi Francesca: It’s wonderful that there are people like yourself so passionate about libraries. Yesterday I drove up to Pollock Pines to lay eyes on your community jewel and am so glad I did. I hadn’t realized it was Harvey West’s doing. You are right about parking being limited. Though not having counted (I was paying more attention to keeping my car on the road in the snow) I seem to recall a total of four parking spaces. Three were taken and I was too timid to negotiate the remaining one, for fear of getting stuck in my city slicker’s car! Undoubtedly you’ve seen THIS - Harvey West’s obituary, which I leave for the record. All the best, Evelyn

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJanuary 05, 2013 - 5:15 pm

    Evelyn--thank you for coming up...it is beautiful. I did discover something else...The meeting at 1 p.m., Monday, January 28, 2013 is calling for proposed changes to corporate bylaws of the corporate friends of the library/El Dorado County...but let s look at article lX, chapters in areas served by branch libraries, preamble current wording: lets cut to the chase..." Budgets must be submitted and approved by the Corporate Board at the beginning of each each year, with any additional expenses in excess of $1000.00 to be pre-approved by the corporate board of directors." Proposed changes ...in excess of $5000.00 to be pre-approved...but not yet. I like the word " pre-approved" Fran I trust the President of the corporate FOL---and he had no clue again thanks for coming up fran

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  • James SmithJanuary 05, 2013 - 7:14 pm

    Let me say Harvey West was an amazing man, I knew him! Unfortunately, money is being wasted and this is the tip of the iceberg. County is wasting Bucko Bucks on its own facilities. BOS is OUT to LUNCH!

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  • Charla McKennaJanuary 05, 2013 - 7:31 pm

    Editor, I have also been following this issue. I do not understand why a county-owned facility (Pollock Pines Library,) was re-carpeted with DONATED funds. It seems to me that any upgrades or maintenance should be accomplished with funding from the County, which has a budget for facilities maintenance and repairs. If the concerns about new carpet were that of children sitting on the old or dirty carpet, I believe that a colorful, kid-friendly area rug would be a much better option. As a teacher who is passionate about teaching reading, I understand that having children close to me during reading time is very important. The area rug has designated boundaries and keeps children close to the reader and helps them to focus and interact with the reader and the book. It is the job of the reader to keep the children engaged and excited about reading. This has to be done up close! Another issue I have is about the children's art work. At one time, children's art was on the walls of that library. I am appalled that anyone would discard children's art! One of the biggest roles for libraries is to get children excited about reading and libraries. Seeing their own work displayed--published--on the walls of a public place, such as a library, gives children a sense of their value. They LOVE to share their art and will come back again and again just to show someone an art piece on the wall. Displaying their work on library walls gives those children a sense of pride and ownership, thus creating this type of relationship with the library. The more a child is in a library, the more books they will have an opportunity to explore. It just seems to me that somewhere the sense of "public library" has gotten lost. It is a shame.

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 05, 2013 - 7:50 pm

    James Smith, Harvey and his brother Robert Were Freemasons. When My son Chris's son Mike was born with a congenital heart defect and the medical expenses were sinking the family a phone call from Robert West settled ALL medical accounts. . . . Freemasons . . . followed by spooky music . . .

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJanuary 05, 2013 - 8:18 pm

    thank you for reading and responding...this tiny little library deserves more...it was someones dream (Doris) and Mr West made it a reality. @ Phil--so much history behind this library...lololol I am honored you shared your love..and hope Mike is still well. Freemasons . . .( followed by spooky music--I love this.) Mr West built the chapel (in honor of hie son David--the plate honoring him is still there) at the Pollock Pines Community Church (our large church on pony express) I would have loved to meet this character and his sons. All of them gave our county so much. All the way up to Lake Tahoe. Thank you for reading. People have asked me what I want out of this...I want the money returned to the Pollock pines Friends of the Library account. I want the people who dreamed and created this library acknowledged. (Doris and Mr. West) And I want all the people who felt they had the "right" to do this-to know...deep down--they did not. I honor their gift--a gift of a library

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJanuary 05, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    Thank you James and Charla..my heart to the both of you. James Just by your statement--I can feel you admired him. Charla-thank you for your input--I know that teaching reading is so important to you. To all Freemasons--thank you.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJanuary 08, 2013 - 9:10 am

    Dear Editor...I had no idea that this letter had gone to print...Thank you Edward George Bulwer Lytton (1803-1873), an English novelist, wrote this for the first time in 1839. He wrote, "Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword." Thank you for using your newspaper to share whats in my heart Fran DuChamp

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  • Fran DuchampNovember 18, 2013 - 10:32 pm

    Dee my letter on the library....

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