Opinion

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 your readers on the talented folks who are the "Crown Jewels of the Port Washington Public Library." This continuing series outlines the talents of the valuable folks who provide us with the broadest range of library services.

The featured librarian I would like to write about today is Richard Hausdorff, senior reference librarian, with 25 years of experience helping our patrons. Richard is head of the periodical division and co-head of the computer services department.

How many of you have walked into the main reading room and used the myriad of magazines and newspapers lining both walls? Whatever your interest, consumer, professional, hobbyist, collector, researcher or just normal curiosity, can be satisfied 99 and 44/100 percent of the time with Richard's in depth selection of print materials.

These days are strenuous times for individuals, small businesses and the community at large. Many people have had to tighten their economic belts. Over the past year, our library has become a pleasant refuge, just as in the dire days, that some of us remember, who experienced the Great Depression. In times like these it is worth this modest price to have over 650 programs annually, expanded computer technology, an up-to-date book collection, a great selection of free videos and music CDs, digital books on tape, exciting art gallery exhibits, spectacular photography shows and diversified and interesting speakers?

A standing-room-only crowd attended one of the recent library programs, with adventurer, Dennis Bellieveau "In the Steps of Marco Polo" with Francis O'Donnell. This is one of the many programs that is presented free, which would cost in the for-profit entertainment world.

Many of us with more modest means are happy to pay the small amount of annual library taxes for being entertained, enlightened and educated at, as I have called it in the past, "the Crown Jewel of Port Washington. Where else on Long Island or in New York City can you even come close to finding such a bargain? I am certain the value you receive is many, many times more than the small amount you will pay in your annual library taxes.

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

Again, this is a reminder that 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 budget at the Port Washington Library Budget vote on Tuesday, April 7, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Mildred and Martin Vogel


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