Opinion: Library is necessary community service, says Ogdensburg woman
To the Editor:
Ben Franklin is known for a lot of things, but one of the most thoughtful, civic minded ideas he had was that of a public library. The library was considered the foundation of an informed electorate in a fledgling democracy. For decades concerned citizens in towns and villages all across America established libraries after his example. Ogdensburg has had a public library supported by the citizenry for well over 125 years.We are no longer a fledgling democracy and our library has evolved to meet modern times. At the Ogdensburg Public Library today you can borrow books, e-books, audio books, and dvds. Computers and wifi are available to all. The library serves the community as a place for meetings, tutoring students, and even Tai Chi, Yoga and dance groups.
The school district holds the Battle of the Books for its students at the public library. There are programs for adults and kids of all ages from toddlers to teens and movie night for all.
In short, the library provides information, education, entertainment and it is a quiet, safe place to visit. Best of all it is free for everyone.
There are other public services we as taxpayers support like the public school, fire department, police department, a public pool.
As a resident I do not personally use the public school as my children are grown. I do not swim in the pool. I have never called on the police department. I have relied on the fire department, but only twice in 33 years. Nevertheless, I am pleased to know my tax dollars support these city functions.
The same is true for the library, and this is one service I use often. In my eyes it is one of those necessary community services that our taxes support. And what the city has allocated to the library in 2021 represents only 1% of the whole city budget.
Since the city has stated they will not provide any operational funds for the library in 2022, the library is going directly to the voters in a referendum asking for their support.
I encourage all to vote for the referendum on the school ballot on May 18. Voting is from noon to 9 p.m. at the OFA Dome. Save our library. Vote yes on May 18.