To The Daily Sun,
I have heard some argue that the Gilmanton Year-Round Library is a private organization, not deserving of public support.
Fact: The GYRL is a non-profit organization, organized under state law as a public charity and as such granted tax-exempt status under the federal tax code. It is bound, under the law, to serve the purposes for which it was created, to benefit the entire community.
Some public libraries, like GYRL, were built by an organization that recognized the community's need for the services only a public library can provide. Some were built by the generosity of a private donor. In either case, operating costs of public libraries throughout the state are publicly supported, whether the building is owned by the town or by the charity that created it. To date, the board of GYRL has raised more than half the library's modest annual operating cost. Volunteers have filled in for tasks ranging from cleaning and landscape maintenance to organizing events and fundraising. Because it is a public charity, donations to the library are tax-deductible. But it is not feasible for private donors to fully support this vital public resource.
In the five years since the library opened it has offered what only a full-service library can provide — books, periodicals, computer access, inter-library loan, children's story times, meeting space for groups with many interests. It is indeed Gilmanton's living room.
Gilmanton voters: without your support, the library will close. Please join me on March 10, and vote to support funding for Gilmanton's public library.