Thoughtful, fiscally responsible people have expressed their opinion that another Kent District Library branch is not needed in Ada. I respectfully disagree with their opinion.
I have lived in Ada township for fourteen years. During those fourteen years, when someone asked me where I lived the conversation never ended with Ada. I lived east of Grand Rapids, no not in East Grand Rapids, Ada is further East than that, no not all the way to Lowell, yes near Cascade, just north of Cascade. I drove visitors down to see the covered bridge for quaint local color, but we always ate a nice dinner in Grand Rapids, used the library in Cascade, visited the quaint shops in East Grand Rapids, and walked around the river in Rockford. Although a passionate advocate for libraries in general and for Kent District Library in particular, I never before pushed for a library here in Ada.
During the last few years there have been changes, changes in Ada and changes in the expectations of upscale bedroom communities in general. Our little village has gradually become a destination. New coffee shops, cafes, a craft brewery, gastropub, and Kingma's market, are all finding a home in our once sleepy little village. The township is reshaping our village, and look - hidden behind some businesses, we have a river. Township officials have held community forums in which residents have identified key points to steer the reshaping of Ada. The second design principle on their list is "Create a focal point in the heart of the Village that can serve as a community hub and gathering place, and expand opportunities for civic buildings." A library would be that focal point. A library would bring foot traffic to our budding businesses, not just in the summertime, but all year round. A library would provide space for the community to gather. The library would include flexible meeting space that could accommodate individuals, tutors, businesses, and civic organizations. No neighboring library can be a focal point for Ada township.