Library background and support

|Letter from Deborah G. Chandler|

Dear Town Manager,

Since 1888, the New Gloucester Public Library has grown with the town. When it finally burst its seams in the 1990’s, the town voted its approval of the move to and expansion of the old high school. This decision was made with the full understanding that it would require two librarians to staff it properly.

In 2020, we have in this library a vibrant community center that is freely open to all ages and walks of life for a range of activities as wide as the variety of its patrons. It is run by two dedicated librarians who work hard for us every day, even though their salaries are at the bottom of the salary range of equivalent Maine libraries. They work wonders with a minimal, essentially flat funded budget. And have done for many years.

The active Friends of the Library are able to supplement this bare-bones budget through our book sales and volunteer activities. Without this assistance, there would be fewer programs offered and many fewer new books on the shelves. But it still takes two librarians to make it all work.

The Library provides much more value to the town than it costs us in expenditures. New Gloucester needs to continue to fully fund its library at no less than the FY2020 funding.

Deborah G. Chandler
146 Morse Road