Tuesday, May 13, 2008
According to the plaque in front of the building, it served this area from its completion in 1915 until the current library was opened down the street in 1989. That's a lot of years for an initial investment of $1,000, and brought to simple rural communities something we take for granted - open stacks for citizens to freely browse and borrow at will. Librarians are heroes in the battle to keep information available to everyone, preserving democracy even in the face of efforts to create an imperial regime.
Few examples of this ornate and monumental building style survive in Willits. Today it houses the local community cable channel, which is funded by the contract with the regional commercial cable provider. Among other things, they televise city council meetings and event calendars. One corner of the structure also holds the KZYZ community radio studio, a "satellite" of the main studios of KZYX over in Philo, extending the reach and participation of far flung populations in their public radio station.