Library benefits the community of Ogdensburg | Letters
Ben Franklin is known for a lot of things. But one of the most thoughtful and civic ideas he had was that of a public library. The library was seen as the foundation of an informed electorate in a nascent democracy.
For decades, concerned citizens in towns and cities across America have created libraries like him. Ogdensburg has had a citizen-supported public library for over 125 years.
We are no longer a fledgling democracy and our library has evolved to accommodate modern times. At the Ogdensburg Public Library today, you can borrow books, eBooks, audiobooks, and DVDs. Computers and WiFi are available to everyone.
The library serves the community as a venue for meetings, student tutoring, and even tai chi, yoga, and dance groups. The Ogdensburg City School District is hosting the Book Battle for its students at the Public Library. There are programs for adults and children of all ages, from toddlers to teens, and movie nights for everyone.
In short, the library provides information, education, entertainment, and it is a quiet and safe place to visit. Best of all, it’s free for everyone.
As taxpayers, we support other public services such as the public school, the fire department, the police department and a public swimming pool. As a resident, I do not personally use the public school because my children are grown up. I don’t swim in the pool. I never called the police. I have called the fire department, but only twice in 33 years.
Nonetheless, I am happy to know that my tax dollars support these municipal functions. The same is true for the library, and it’s a service I use often.
To me, this is one of those necessary community services that our taxes support. And what the city allocated for the library in 2021 is only 1% of the city’s total budget.
Since city officials have said they will not provide any operational funds for the library in 2022, the library goes directly to voters in a referendum to ask for their support. I encourage everyone to vote in favor of the referendum measure on the school poll on May 18. Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. at the Dôme de l’OOF. Save our library. Vote “Yes” on May 18th!