Letter: Governor’s proposals will hurt libraries

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To the editor,

Connecticut residents have been very fortunate to have a library system which shares resources. Beacon Falls residents used their library cards in 69 other libraries to borrow 5,918 items last year. The ability to use other libraries will be taken away if Gov. Malloy’s proposals are implemented. He seeks to have the legislators eliminate the state statutes that allow Connecticard, the opportunity to have a state-wide library system. That means you will not be able to use your hometown library card in other libraries. Imagine how that will limit your ability to get the materials you have come to enjoy.

Other Malloy proposals will cause the loss of over $28,000 in savings that Beacon Falls Library enjoys. Our library is able to purchase much more than local budget allows due to these savings. In fact, Beacon Falls Library saves more than it spends for library materials due to the discounts negotiated by the Connecticut Library Consortium. Malloy’s proposals, if implemented, will put in jeopardy the Connecticard system, the delivery service, which brought over 2,600 items to our patrons last year, including those for the many book clubs for children and adults in town. This service saved our patrons time and gas, not having to drive to other libraries. But wait, Malloy even wants to eliminate that option.

While we have a lovely little library with great customer service here in Beacon Falls, our 1,200-square-foot space simply cannot hold the wide variety of materials that you are looking for. This resource sharing is vital. Please tell your state representatives and senators that removing the statutes that authorize these programs will tear down the library services you rely on. The $2 million the Governor has proposed in cuts saved Connecticut libraries $75 million last year. Ask your legislators not to be penny-wise and pound foolish and to save Connecticut libraries.

Sue Dowdell

Director, Beacon Falls Public Library