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Hardcover First a Dream: A Community Builds a Library Book

ISBN: 156550089X

ISBN13: 9781565500891

First a Dream: A Community Builds a Library

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good*

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Customer Reviews

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Community engagement in building a living democracy

This is a compelling read for anyone concerned about making democracy work to the benefit of their entire community. First a Dream tells the heartwarming and instructive story of how the people of Belevedere and Tiburon in Calfornia's Marin County dared to believe that they could build cooperatively a grass-roots community library that reflects and serves their diverse population in extraordinary ways. It is heartwarming to read how their community library, serving two quite different towns, engages and invigorates a remarkable number of their citizens in reading, the arts, and community improvement projects. It is instructive to see what it takes to build such a learning community into the roots of a society: a vision, extraordinary commitment and perserverence, flexibility, imagination and time.This is one of the better guides I have seen on how constructively to involve an entire community in building its own living democracy. There are exciting and useful lessons here for anyone who is ready to engage in strengthening their neighborhood, town or society.

A True Study in Community

It is my good fortune to be the Director of the Belvedere-Tiburon Library, an independent community library created by the citizens of two adjoining municipalities in southern Marin County, California chronicled in "First a Dream". I am very proud of "First a Dream: A Community Builds a Library" and grateful to the people who made it possible. It is the inspirational and instructive story of the development of the library which opened its doors in April, 1997. It is also a study in community-building, local values, public spirit, and long-term commitment. The residents of the communities came together in thought, experience, and action to fill a need they both shared and worked together to finance, build and operate a new library. To achieve this, more than ten years of volunteer time and effort were given by hundreds of people. The library is a partnership of the two municipalities and reflective and representative of both. It is a community gateway and cultural center, a place of shared responsibilities and benefits. Today there are more than two hundred residents serving on twenty+ committees and each is vested in maintaining the excellence of this library. In creating their own library, the citizens of Tiburon and Belvedere demonstrated something basic and good about people and communities, about social democracy and its power and glory. It shows that local community activists can take matters into their own hands and achieve something remarkable. Congratulations and thanks to author Jo Ann Ridley for telling this story with such attention to detail, warmth, and enthusiasm. Thanks to artist and architect James Mallott for his beautiful illustrations and his remarkable generosity. Thanks to Dr. Kevin Starr, California State Librarian, for his eloquent foreword. Thanks to Sharon Jones of Vision Books International, the book's publisher and guiding light. Thanks to all the people from the community who served on the Library's History Book Committee - Carol Forell, Allan Littmen, Barbara Gnoss, Joanne Horton, Robin Daily, Betty McKegney, Sharon Bass, Mary Falk, Marie Feldman, Margaret Jones, Barbara and Len Rogers, and Steve Silberstein.
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