I have always thought about the Port Washington Library's budget vote in a variety of ways. This is how I chose to continue enlightening our readers on the talented folks who are the "Crown Jewels of the Port Washington Public Library." This series outlines the talents of the valuable folks who provide us with the broad range of library services.

The featured librarian I would like to write about today is Lee Fertitta, director of Adult Services at the library. She was selected as a member of the library's original Long Range Planning Committee in 1993. Lee is also a member of Nassau County Library Association's Executive Board.

An avid reader, her responsibilities include book ordering, leading book discussion groups, working with adults with disabilities, providing reference service, overseeing the ESOL program, working with other departments, library liaison to the Nautical Advisory Committee and Books for Dessert, and everything else that doesn't fit in Children's, Young Adults or Media!

As a library user, her quote, "I can truthfully say there is no better bang for our buck than our library." As a librarian, nothing gives her greater pleasure than to find the next good read for anyone who asks.

I've listed the pros and cons. The bottom line, most important to me as a senior taxpayer, is what value am I receiving for the property taxes I pay?

This magnificent library not only continues to educate, inform and entertain my wife and I, but does so also for the community at large. Can anyone tell me where else I can receive so much value for so little payment? I know the total tax bills have risen for all of us, but if you scrutinize the numbers carefully, you'll probably find that less than 1/20th of the total is to fund the library.

As I have written in the past, "Is it worth this modest price to have over 650 programs annually, expanded computer technology, an up-to-date book collection, a great selection of videos and music CDs, digital books on tape, exciting art gallery exhibits, spectacular photography shows and diversified and interesting speakers?" What would you pay for this entertaining, enlightening and educational experience at other facilities on Long Island or in New York City? I am certain, many, many times more than the small annual library taxes.

Your library is a valuable investment in yourself, your family and the community as a whole. Please come and support it with a yes vote on the Port Washington Library Budget vote on Tuesday, April 8, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Mildred and Martin Vogel

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