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County has portals to endless opportunity

St. Louis may be the gateway to the west, but Lawrence County contains the gateway to the world, the universe and all points in between. In fact, we have five such portals of the imagination.

What are we talking about? The Briggs Lawrence County Public Library, of course. Standing alone, paper and ink are common, mundane objects that do little to inspire. Mix the two together with the thoughts and dreams of some brilliant men and women and wondrous things happen.

Through Saturday, National Library Week will celebrate all that these repositories of knowledge have to offer. And boy is it volumes.

Want to explore the land of the dinosaurs or any other point of history? The library has the time machine tuned up and ready to roll. Want to travel to some imagined land where warriors are king and damsels are always in distress? Yes, Briggs has that. Want to read about passionate love affairs whose embers never fade? Sure, they can take care of that as well.

And the list goes on, and on and on.

Lawrence County is fortunate to have not one, not two, but five public library branches - Ironton, South Point, Chesapeake, Symmes Valley and Proctorville. That doesn't even count the Bookmobile that rolls its goods all across the county.

Each of these offer an endless supply of educational and entertainment resources including books, newspapers, music, movies and the Internet. What does it cost? Not a dime. New library cards are free as are all these services.

It is encouraging to know that so many residents utilize these services. Briggs has 46,000 card holders. Last year alone, nearly 700,000 items were checked out.

We all owe Dr. Caleb Briggs and other city leaders a debt of gratitude for their foresight that helped make this possible for future generations. It was not an easy task either as fire destroyed early books, the Civil War and a depression hindered their attempts from the 1850s until the Briggs Free Public Library opened its doors in 1910 in Memorial Hall.

The rest, as they say, is history.

So take advantage this week, and the rest of the year, to visit the library and see what awaits. Opportunities are endless as adventures of a lifetime await. It just takes the turn of a page.