By Jan Pease
It was my privilege to meet with an enthusiastic group of Cosmos folks who make up the Building Committee for the Cosmos Library. I’m there as a representative from Pioneerland Library System, in place of Beth and am happy to see this project get started. When the library opens, Beth Cronk, as Meeker County Librarian will manage it, but I hope to be involved in developing the children’s collection. The State of Minnesota provided a grant, so this building project really will happen.
You might remember, February 24, 2011, the Cosmos fire department was called at 5:11 a.m. to the Cosmos library which burned to the ground. This was a terrible loss to the Cosmos community. The library provided children’s programs, books, audio books, movies, and internet access to the community and was a safe place for teens to gather.
Pioneerland Library System has provided employees that bring the summer reading experience for children to the former school building. Some summers the building has been unbearably hot, but families come and take home bags of books to read. This year, Elle Puckett and Jennifer Barnes have worked together on this project.
The committee members did their best to inform me that Cosmos is really the center of the universe. I didn’t know that, but come to think of it, Cosmos is 20 minutes from Hutchinson, 26 minutes from Litchfield, and 33 minutes from Willmar. It offers an easy commute paired with a very nice small town.
The weekend of July 18-20 they will try to prove that Cosmos is indeed the center of the universe, with the Cosmos Space Festival. Saturday night the “best fireworks display in any small town” is planned. There is a parade on Sunday, with vendors in the park. I’m going down for Sunday afternoon, because Jennifer Barnes and I will be at a table in the park. I also plan to be there for the pork chop supper; they told me that the pork chops are very, very good.
In small towns, libraries are the heart beat of the community. Yes, if your house is burning, you need the fire department, not a book about fighting fires. But quality of life is the issue. Families often visit the Litchfield library if they are contemplating a move to our area. Having a vibrant library lets them know that this is a vibrant community. I think that having a library in Cosmos will show that even if it isn’t the center of the universe, it is a great small town community. If you’re at the Space Festival on Sunday afternoon, stop by the Cosmos Library Table. We’ll be there.