Hooray for library

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 6, 2005

It’s hard to believe that Suffolk, as progressive as it is, has not broken ground on a new library in a long time.

The last time it happened here, Dwight Eisenhower was president, Ford Motor Company was touting the features of the new Edsel, and parents were worried about the influence Elvis’ gyrating hips were having on their teenagers.

That’s too long.

Email newsletter signup

Fortunately, that all changed Wednesday when Suffolk City Council broke ground on the $4.7 million, 22,500-square-foot library that will open next fall on Bennetts Creek Park Road.

It was a glorious event for CouncilLinda Johnson in particular, who has been pushing the project since being elected to represent the Holy Neck borough.

&uot;This is a happy day for the entire city,&uot; said Johnson, who represents the Sleepy Hole borough where the library is being built. &uot;I’m thrilled. This has been something I wanted since the day I came on council … and today it is finally beginning.

&uot;Books are my passion,&uot; she said. &uot;There is no greater education than you get from opening a book, feeling its pages, becoming a part of it.&uot;

We can think of few projects more worthy for a city to undertake and we hope everyone in north Suffolk shares the council member’s enthusiasm.

According to United Way officials, some 20 percent of adults in Hampton Roads are functionally illiterate. It’s important for Suffolk and other Hampton Roads communities to do everything they can to make reading and great books accessible to as many of its citizens as possible.