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Letter: Freeport library runs on taxes, user fees

Opinion

Letter: Freeport library runs on taxes, user fees

The Freeport Community Library has been struggling to weather deep cuts in our budget that resulted in the loss of two full-time librarian positions.

We are sorry that letter-writer Andrea Goodrich of Pownal is disappointed at having to pay to use the library, but the Freeport Community Library is funded by Freeport taxpayers and is a unit of our town government. It is a service primarily for the residents of Freeport. It has long been our policy that nonresidents may use the library if they pay a nominal annual fee, currently $55. This fee is for the whole family. We believe this is a small price to pay to have year-long access to the many services our library has to offer.

Any student attending a Freeport school is given a free card, although non-student family members have always been required to purchase a library card. RSU 5 does not fund our library, nor do the residents of Pownal or Durham. We do, however, recognize that this fee may be a concern for some citizens of those towns. In May, we asked the Freeport Town Council to explore with Durham and Pownal the possibility of the towns contributing some financial support to the library so their citizens could take advantage of this valuable community resource without paying individually. We continue to support this idea. In the meantime, it is necessary to require users of the library to support it financially, either through their tax dollars or a use fee.

Shari Broder
Freeport Community Library board of trustees