I will be supporting the Barre city budget March 3, largely because the ability of the Aldrich Public Library to serve Barre will be greatly enhanced by a “yes” vote.
A big chunk of the library’s operating budget rests in the overall city 2015-2016 budget. The library receives no direct state funding, and while I and the other Friends of the Aldrich Library continue to raise money through dinners and sales, our efforts alone won’t pay the bills. To put it plainly, the Aldrich needs the voters of Barre.
The real question is, do the voters of Barre City and Town know they need the Aldrich? I hope so. This library offers so much: a warm, quiet place to check email and the Boston Globe sports section, a meeting place for people of all ages to enjoy socializing and entertainment, and to learn about civic and cultural life, the company of others who love to read, an opportunity for Barre to meet world-famous authors like “Bridge to Terebithia” author Katherine Paterson, or a place where tech-savvy college students teach beginning entrepreneurs and job-seekers to use the internet to take the next big step, whether it’s finding work or starting a business. The list of benefits is long, but for me the main reason is the unlimited supply of “free” books. I walk in after work at 5 p.m., and 10 minutes later I am the excited temporary “owner” of the latest Jack Reacher book, or the newest Ender’s Game series, etc. Recently I borrowed a biography of abolitionist William Wilberforce that motivated me to actually buy another book by author Eric Metaxas at Next Chapter Bookstore on Main Street.
When you have a good local library like the Aldrich, reading is both fun and free. Please join me in supporting it by voting “yes” on the entire city budget March 3.