To the Editor:
Raise your hand if you live in Tiverton and have visited the . Great! Almost all of you it looks like. And I see hands up from folks who have written letters to this newspaper telling voters to vote against the referendum for a new Tiverton Library saying we don’t need it. Wow! What a shame!
Now, if you’ve been to the Essex Library, you’ve met the wonderful staff who you will also get to see at the new Tiverton Library, assuming voters approve the Nov. 8. You’ve also squeezed through the very small cramped shelves for books, maybe tried to vie for some limited time on the few computers you’ll find. Maybe you even attended a meeting in the very small reading room that doubles as a conference room. And, if you have children or are a young reader, you have had the opportunity to visit the small, cramped and somewhat mildewy (that happens when your space is below ground level) basement room where all of the books and materials for young readers are kept.
And a few people in town say we don’t need a new library. Wow! What a shame.
Don’t get me wrong. The Essex Library is a beautiful building, a wonderful stone structure that on the outside is exquisite! On the inside, it just doesn’t meet the needs of the Tiverton community any longer! At some point we simply have to accept that, for many good reasons, our town needs a modern library.
Our opportunity is at hand. The Tiverton Library Foundation, the Library Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Library have gone above and beyond due diligence in developing a plan that will give us a beautiful new and modern library that will serve all of the residents of our community for many decades. Not only have they designed a wonderful space, they have put together a financing plan which gives us a “green” library worth $11 million and Tiverton taxpayers will pay only 25 percent of the cost, or less than $3 million!
More books on shelves, safe and healthy space for young readers to call their own, room for special events, opportunities to bring small meetings and conferences to town which can generate income for the library and surrounding businesses – that’s what you’ll find in the new Tiverton Library. Networked computers for research and job searches. Programs to help the unemployed find work. More programs for older citizens. One more benefit – just like good schools, modern libraries are a draw for business to locate in a community. Healthy businesses know that an educated community that supports community infrastructure is one that thrives and grows and helps their business thrive and grow! Wow! What an opportunity we have!
On behalf of the Tiverton Democratic Town Committee, which voted overwhelmingly to support this important economic development project, I ask each of you to vote for the library bond referendum on Nov. 8!
Chairman, Tiverton Democratic Town Committee