Heraclitus certainly knew what he was talking about. For it was the ancient Greek philosopher who coined the famous quote, "The only constant in life is change." Heraclitus never knew just how true his words were.

This past year at the Forsyth County Public Library has indeed been one of constant change. In mid-September it was announced that Central Library would close to the public for two and one half years while extensive renovations took place.

Our challenges were many in number and immediate in need. Decisions about what went into storage, what went to branches and what was no longer needed had to be made under a condensed timeline.

Central Library staff had to be re-assigned to Branches. Contracts with movers had to be finalized. Regularly scheduled programs had to find new homes in the downtown area. The list seemed endless.

However, in the midst of this activity an interesting discovery was made. Within the constant of change lies opportunity. Central Library staff re-assigned to Branches would have the chance to broaden their experiences by working in a different environment; learning and sharing thoughts and ideas with other staff members who they would otherwise not have an opportunity to work with.

Packing up for our move also provided the perfect opportunity to weed out materials from our collection that were no longer needed, giving us room to add materials that more closely reflect the wants and needs of the community.

Perhaps the most unexpected surprise has been the large amount of media coverage that has been given to our move. Did you know that the Library is the only county department that competes directly in the open market for patrons. People have choices where they can get the resources and materials that are our stock-in-trade.

The media exposure that surrounded our move, and which continues as design plans are finalized and renovations begin, has been invaluable. It has created a renewed awareness of the Library that we would have been unable to achieve on our own without investing in a costly marketing campaign.

As we absorb change we do so not with feelings fraught with anxiety, but with an air of gratitude. For without change there is no growth. So here's to Heraclitus, we owe you more than you could ever imagine.


Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin