Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is Our Library Essential?

Did you know that Governor David Paterson is proposing a $2.4 million cut in Library Aid in the NYS 2010-2011 Executive Budget?  This will be the fifth cut in less than two years and will bring Library Aid down from $102 million in 2007 to $84.5 million in 2010. These cuts combined total an $18 million or 18% reduction in funding for library services. Libraries are part of our safety net—they are essential to life long learning, jobs and opportunity, quality of life and community empowerment.

Here at the Canastota Public Library, we have seen an increase in the number of people using services here.  From our regular programming like StoryTime for Toddlers and Baby & Me Lap Sit to our Teen Group and evening programs, we see more people walking through our doors.  We have also seen a rise in computer usage here at the library.  With so many locally out of work, we've had people coming in to fill out on-line applications, search job opportunities on the internet and take out books on starting a business or writing a resume!  Our DVD collection seems to see a lot of action, too.  Many families can't afford to take the whole gang to the movies but they can borrow a DVD for two nights at no charge, make popcorn at home and have a great time!
Last year, when my husband was out of work, we looked to the library for resources on cutting our household expenses, living on a budget and for entertainment purposes.  The library had those resources for us!  Our children use library resources for educational learning and for reading entertainment.  The library is our second home.
We asked some of our patrons why the library is essential in their are some of the answers!
  • My library is essential because: "My son couldn't live without the library.  He has a great love for the library!"
  • My library is essential because: "It is the touchstone of Canastota and life!"
  • My library is essential because:  "Without it, I would be lost."
  • My library is essential because:  "It offers many hours of peaceful entertainment."
  • My library is essential because:  " We couldn't afford to buy books for our children.  We don't have a computer at home. My children use the library to get information for school like the computers and books that the library has."
If the library is essential in your life, you can provide support.  Stop into the library at 102 W. Center Street and sign our petition which will be delivered to Albany politicians in March.  Or, visit  There, you can sign the online petition as well as see what a typical day at a library looks like.  We have submitted a Wednesday Video from our library and statistics for a typical day here at the Canastota Public Library.  We used statistics from Wednesday, Feb 2, 2010.

When we, as a people, seem to have less resources, the libraries are the first place we turn.  Why would we allow Albany to cut aid to libraries again?  Please offer your support!

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