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Letter: Library Budget Cuts

I was saddened to read in the local news that our library budget is going to be cut due to a decrease in the village’s contribution. I know our Mayor and Trustees are working hard to prevent tax increases and can only guess how difficult their job is. But reducing library services is never a good idea and is an especially bad choice in hard times.

I understand from reading the library’s website that despite mandated increases in labor and state costs, the library had already proposed a reduced budget. The budget proposed by the library for the next fiscal year June 1, 2011 – May 31, 2012 is 6.7 percent less than five years ago.

Library Board Chair J. Randolph Colahan has said, “The importance of library services is even greater in a time of economic uncertainty. More and more people are using the library to update job resumes, access financial information, and use our meeting spaces. The library is an economic development engine providing resources for small business entrepreneurs and by being the destination that brings people into our village’s downtown area.”

I agree and would add that our library is a source of pride and one of the few local destinations that is free to all and uplifting on many levels. I urge our leaders to reconsider and look elsewhere for savings that will not reduce the library services which mean so much to me and many of my neighbors.  

Benjamin H. Mahler

Garden City