To The Daily Sun,
On March 8, the voters of Ashland will have an opportunity to make a great improvement to the town.
Warrant Article #4 is a bond issue for $800,000 for the purchase, renovation, and furnishing of the historic school building for use as the Ashland Town Library. The current building has served as the town library for 78 years, with no appreciable growth. It can no longer serve the needs of the community for the 21st Century. It is too small for popular children's and adult programming, and not conducive to technology needs, among other issues.
The beautiful, historic school building has an excellent location next to the elementary school, and has been extensively remodeled to meet current codes with modern heating and cooling systems. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Locating the library in this building will mean tripling the size of the children's room, allowing for more programming opportunities. There will be more space for more computers and future technologies. There will be tables for group projects and comfortable seating for reading. The third floor is an attractive open space that will be available for meetings. You are welcome to view the historic school building during open houses on Tuesday, March 1, 5 to 7 p.m., or Saturday March 5, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ashland Town Library is truly an asset to the town. In 2015 there were 1,460 cardholders, 73 percent of the total population. There were over 8,500 visits to the library, close to 13,000 items were circulated, and 65 programs were held. The library is used by young and old alike, for entertainment, education, job searching, and more. The library hosts Mid-State Health counselors who assist people with the Affordable Care Act. A commonly heard misconception is that libraries are no longer needed. On the contrary, libraries are more vital than ever. They are places of equal access to information and technology for all. They are places where children learn to love reading and learning. They are places where teens find community. They are places to read magazines, check out books or download them, check out DVDs, and so much more.
The trustees of the Ashland Town Library urge voters to vote yes on Article #4. What the town will gain is ownership of the beautiful, historic building, and a modern, well-situated library. Ashland Pride: honoring the past and securing the future. Also please vote yes for Article #24 , to add $25,000 to the library capital reserve fund. This will only go into effect if Article #4 fails. Thank you for your support.
Ashland Town Library Trustees
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