Letter: A Small Prize for Community Investment | Opinion

To the Editor: On Monday, May 16, there was a busy Zoom meeting in Guilford. The purpose of the meeting was to inform voters of the proposed addition to the Guilford Free Library.

Many people made presentations on the extensive planning that has been undertaken regarding this proposed project. Examples were provided of the reasons for this planned addition. The programs developed by the library have been explained in detail. These programs involve our young residents and students, they involve families and retirees. It was clearly underlined the growing dynamic participation of library users and the important services provided by the library.

Many of the speakers were people who have been long-time dedicated volunteers in our city. Many speakers have been dedicated advocates of projects of all kinds to benefit Guilford. These are people who have worked on all kinds of community-building efforts for decades for the simple reason that they are committed to the well-being of our city.

The day after this meeting, I received in my mailbox a leaflet of unknown origin. The message was to “not” vote in favor of adding the library. No contact information was provided. It was obvious that the author of this leaflet was unfamiliar with the many useful programs the library offers. The flyer included documentation of the square footage of the current library which included the basement. I have been in the basement and believe me it is incorrect to include this area in the square foot calculation. It is a utility, storage area unsuitable for public use. The title of the flyer states that the project will cost $1.3 million and yet there is no mention of the amount of alternative funds that have been raised and accounted for in this title. Who ever distributed this flyer only wanted to say “no” without really knowing more about the community building efforts that have been undertaken for decades by many involved.

Education in our great community is of paramount importance. The value of a community library in a small town cannot be underestimated. This education begins with young people following wonderful programs at our library and all of this will be enhanced by the additional space on offer that has been so well documented.

In closing, it should be noted that the amount voters will be asked to approve is $205,000, which is a small price to pay for the keystone investment the library now holds in our community.

Sincerely,

Shaun Murphy

Guilford, May 19

Jill E. Washington