LTE-Decimation Of The Goodwin Library Budget

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Decimation of the Goodwin Library budget
To the Editor:

The Goodwin Library budget has been slashed, yet again, by the Farmington Budget Committee and the cuts approved by the Farmington Selectmen. It may seem a forgone conclusion that the Goodwin Library will simply have to deal with these significant cuts. That is not necessarily so. In a few weeks Farmington will have its annual Town Meeting. It may be possible for some of the Library budget to be restored, but this relies on citizens of Farmington who are supporters of the Library attending the annual Town Meeting and being present for any vote to restore those funds at the Town Meeting on Wednesday, March 12, at the Old Town Hall/Recreation Center, at 7 p.m.

I know many see the Goodwin Library as an easy monetary target, as what they produce is less tangible and measurable than other town departments. It is also easy to find fault with organizations in general, especially if you don’t use them or are not aware of the services and programs they provide. In my personal experience, the Library Trustees could be better communicators, the Friends of the Goodwin Library better advocates, the Library Director a better manager, and some of the Librarians better digital citizens. All of those observations aside, the value to Farmington’s inhabitants and its’ mission to become a “center for the personal, cultural, and social growth for the community of Farmington” is immeasurable. We have to look at the broader picture and look at all the Library does for our town for the value to become clear.

There is no better institution poised to empower such a large cross section of Farmington’s citizens than the Goodwin Library. The Library exists to strengthen our community as whole. Libraries do not focus on specific groups in their communities; they are all inclusive. Libraries do not try to place band aids on systemic issues, they confront them where they originate, within each individual. Libraries seek to unite us through our differences and our similarities. Different genders, ages, people from varied backgrounds and modes of thought can all come together in one place with no entrance fee or price tag attached. Libraries are the last existing localized nexus we have that truly can unite us all. In the face of constant defunding of town services and infrastructure, shrinking budgets, and lack of vision from many of our elected officials, Farmington needs our Library now, more than ever.

Please plan to help support the Goodwin Library at the Farmington Town Meeting.

Kyle Leach