Food for Thought: Of all the organizations that a community can support, the library will always have my vote. Not just when it comes to voting on the library budget once a year. But when you realize that the budget is never sufficient to cover all the costs to keep a library current with the trends that make it a community center with mixed media; libraries are not just about printed matter, but they offer computer access and opportunities to learn from others and network with others and engage in small group projects. Libraries meet the needs of everyone in a community, across the lifespan, no matter the gender, ethnicity, race or political persuasion. Libraries are that place that makes you feel welcome when you arrive in a new town; all you need to do is show up and register for the lifetime of your residency. It's always been my first stop when I've moved from one town to another. It always makes me remember how much I enjoyed my library branch in Brooklyn, only to realize after the building had been razed that it was an Andrew Carnegie treasure; the South Brooklyn Branch of the New York Public Library system was replaced during the upgrading of public buildings when the Great Society campaign offered grants to modernize facilities. It was a shame that there had never been a campaign to save the historic building at the time. When I moved to Beacon, I saw the parallel with the Howland Public Library having been originally located in the historic building now housing the Howland Cultural Center, which still stands, fortunately for us. But I also realize the library is more than a building; it is the connection to all that humanity has known and hearkens all that we will become. We need to support out library; the Howland Public Library is the center of Beacon, both in its physical location, and in the programs and materials it provides to its residents.
Please join the Friends of the Howland Public Library on September 10th to help raise funds for all the 'extras' that the library receives on behalf of its efforts. The Beacon community has been generous with donated items that you will want to purchase and/or usually support, so you will be adding to the community twice. And remember to visit Beacon Reads whenever you can to continue your fiscal support for library funds. It's time to 'pay it forward' and support future generations of library patrons!