What They’re Reading: David Black President & CEO, Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC
Anyone working in economic development must learn how things work – sewers, water, government. As a Clarion County commissioner, David Black found that foundational knowledge in libraries. A library book taught him that a proposal to build a NASCAR track wouldn’t work without a NASCAR-sanctioned race to fill it.
“It helped me debunk the political pressure for the county to spend an unsightly amount of money on something that wasn’t going to go anyplace,” he says.
Today’s libraries build communities, says Black, who leads economic impact projects throughout the region. As the pandemic shutdown prompts people to flee metropolises for more livable places, “a strong, functioning public library speaks volumes about a community.”
“When you drive into a town and you see a library in a very prominent place, like McCormick Riverfront Library on Walnut Street, it speaks well of that community.”
What are you reading now? My summer read is Jon Meacham’s “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power.” Meacham is an exceptional writer. I was a fan of George H.W. Bush, and he did a spectacular biography of him. I’m also reading kids’ books. It’s fun to see our grandkids progress and share books. When they run in and grab the same book you’ve read 30 times already and you read it again, that’s okay.
Why those particular books? I’m big on political, historical figures. It’s part of who I am and what I do. You have to know the government system to make economic development work because that’s generally who funds economic development. We learn from those who have gone before us.
What’s your favorite thing about The Library? Dauphin County Library System is a great system. They are consistently trying to do the right thing to keep The Library relevant in the age of Google. It’s a community resource. I’ve been to Madeline L. Olewine Memorial Library for a number of community events. It’s a gathering place. It serves the neighborhood well, and it’s nice to see all the computers for people who maybe don’t have access at home. You need to be connected today to be able to survive.