I have always thought about the Port Washington Library's budget vote in a variety of ways. Again I am outlining the talents of the valuable folks who provide us with these wonderful services.

The featured librarian in this current letter is Elly Shodell, the library's oral historian and director of the Local History Center.

Elly is involved in community history, oral history and archives programs, including research, writing, documentary editing, public programming, training workshops, outreach, web development and interviewing.

She has directed, curated or authored many exhibits, media and books listed below.

Sand and City Website (story of Long Island sandminers, funded by Paul Pope, 2004)

Flight of Memory: Long Island's Aeronautical Past (traveling exhibit and book funded by NYCH, 1994)

Flight of Memory CD-Rom (funded by Port Washington Library Foundation, 1999)

Person to Person: An Oral History of the Port Washington Library (book funded by Friends of the Library, 1993)

Cross Currents: Baymen, Yachtsmen, and Long Island Waters, 1830s-1990s (exhibit/programs funded by NYCH, 1992)

Changing Channels: Maritime Folk Artists on LI's North Shore (festival, exhibit, book funded by NEA, NYSCA,1992)

In The Service: Workers on the Grand Estates, 1890s-1940s (exhibit, book, programs funded by NYCH,1991)

Particles of the Past: Sandmining on Long Island (exhibit funded by NYSCA Folk Arts, 1985, & book, Pope Foundation)

Back to Port (Narrator, Cablevision featured history program, 1985)

It Looks Like Yesterday to Me: The Strength of the African American Family (funded by Arwood Foundation,1984)

We are indeed fortunate to have such a talented and friendly person as part of the crown jewels of the Port Washington Library.

Again, 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 also 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, books on tape, exciting art gallery exhibits, spectacular photography shows and diversified and interesting speakers? What would you pay for this entertainment, enlightenment and educational experience at other facilities on Long Island or in New York City? I am certain, many, many times more.

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

Mildred and Martin Vogel

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