The Trustees are not saying that the Library is more important than the other needs. We know that the townspeople, in their judgment, will make the decisions on what projects they need and want, in what order, and at what price. We strongly believe, however, that a fine Library is part of the suite of services a community such as ours needs and deserves in this busy and complicated society.
The Library is the true community center. Apart from public health and safety services, and highways, the public Library is the town resource used by more people, more kinds of people, than any other. Not everybody uses the schools, or the bathing beach, or the harbor, or Bare Cove Park, or the sports fields, or the Country Club pool or golf course, or the Senior Center. But everybody, both genders and all social classes, from the tiniest children to the eldest seniors and all those in between, uses the Library. It is beloved as few Town institutions are, by many thousands of people who use it every year, and the hundreds who volunteer there freely. It is also an important partner to other town services, especially the Senior Center and the schools. For example, for seniors it hosts classes in lifelong learning. For students, it is an essential study facility (which is why, in the spring, we stay open late during High School finals week).
As Trustees with a responsibility in state law, we see it as our duty to bring forward this opportunity to give the best in Library services to the town, with the assistance and support of the Board of Library Commissioners. The state is offering this grant to the people, not to the Trustees, and we know that only the people can decide whether they can or want to accept it. We hope that they will.