To The Daily Sun,
Next Tuesday, March 14, residents of Gilmanton once again have the opportunity to vote "Yes" on Article 23 to support our Year-Round Library on Route 140. How lucky are we that a dedicated group of volunteers raised all the money and labored many, many hours to provide us with this beautiful building? And that every year members of our community contribute to keep costs down such that Article 23 is only asking for partial funding for the year? We have a true deal.
NHPR recently had a story about the 300th anniversary of our State Library, mentioning that our state has 234 communities, and 234 public libraries. Yes, every other town in our state supports a public library to some degree. Yearly I am appalled by the mystifying opposition to this fine asset to our community, especially since the amount requested is merely 0.01 percent of the total town operating budget requested.
What is a community? We come together to support the physical and social needs of our town. Yearly many pay for the local roads on which they never drive, many pay to run the schools even though they do not have children in them, and we all pay for public safety services even though, thankfully, many of us have never needed them. So the issue is not whether or not you use the Library. Many in our community do. Young families and older residents use all the services of the library, while also appreciating it as a community gathering place, as do many others. Like libraries across the globe, ours has been adapting to the digital age, and offers many services other than taking out books: Internet connection, computer use, e-book loans, DVDs, passes to state museums and science centers, etc. Check out all the possibilities.
Yes, some in our community are clinging to a long-held grudge about an aspiration once expressed that perhaps money could be raised for the ongoing expenses of the library. It was never a promise, and, even if it were, let it go! Do we go back and criticize what people opined about the future expenses of any other department? No. Or at least we don't go back 10 years (or more) in our scrutiny.
Be grateful for what we have and vote "Yes" on Article 23 on Tuesday.