to the Editor:

Thank you, Manchester voters!

On behalf of the Mark Skinner Library staff and trustees, I'd like to say thank you for the wonderful support from the Town of your community's public library. As we do not receive any state or federal funding, we are grateful for the funds allocated each year at Town Meeting to support our operating budget. Taxpayer support is critical and helps pay for our day-to-day bills and salaries, amounting to just under half of our operating budget; the rest is raised each year through grants, sponsorships, fundraisers, strategic collaborations, and our Annual Fund Drive - these combined revenue streams enable us to continue fulfilling our unique role in our community. Manchester's public library provides a variety of resources designed to foster our curiosity, growth, and development as human beings and as citizens; we promote early literacy and school-readiness; and we develop work force capacity. We are also a natural partner in our local economic development efforts.

We look forward with great excitement to the fall of 2014 when we are up and running in our new 21st-century building, centrally located and accessible to all. This new facility has been designed specifically to meet the wide spectrum of needs, with flexibility to adapt and evolve as the needs of our community change. It is worth a reminder that the costs for constructing the new library, on the corner of 7A and Cemetery Road, will be paid for with bequests, grants, and donations, raised entirely through private philanthropy. No tax dollars have been requested nor bond measure proposed to pay for the costs to build the Manchester Community Library that will replace the historic, outdated Mark Skinner Library, located on West Road. Our capital campaign to raise the funds needed for the project will move into the public phase in the coming weeks; and look for news of our groundbreaking this spring.

Thank you for your support now and in the future, and we hope you'll stop by and check out what's happening @ your library!

Betsy Bleakie

Executive Director, Mark Skinner Library

Manchester