To the Editor:
When our family moved here last August, our very first stop was to the Manchester Community Library, where we knew we would be welcome and supported in our efforts to connect with neighbors and find community resources.
The library provided us with the tools to explore and understand the area while staff and volunteers offered us kindness, encouragement, understanding. It really helped alleviate much of the stress associated with a big life change.
For me, the library has - and always will be - a generous, lifelong friend. It is, by far, the most democratic of public institutions, a multi-generational gathering place for cultural and civic discourse, an incubator for ideas, personal growth, and discovery, an educational stronghold for leading-edge technology and research, and a lively and comforting backdrop for hands-on learning, literature, and multimedia consumption.
The library is also accessible to each and every one of us. It is no wonder the Manchester Community Library has seen a dramatic spike in its usage last year. Clearly a lot of thought and sweat equity went into the planning and creation of a 21st Century building that would house the collections and services needed for a 21st Century community.
If I'm not mistaken, Vermont public libraries number among a small handful that does not receive any state funding. Our state libraries rely entirely on its citizens for its financial support. Think of how much a library delivers on its lean budget. I can think of few organizations that yield such a high return on investment.
Please take a moment and consider how your public library has impacted your life, and how it engages and enriches your community. Then, when your community meets to discuss fiscal matters, stand up for a strong library. In doing so you advocate for all Vermonters and invest in your community's future.