Nine years ago, the Pawling Library adopted the slogan “Come Grow With Us.” Since then, the library has been growing in tandem with the community in an effort to better reflect the needs and interests of Pawling residents. This November, the library will be asking the citizens of Pawling for something that hasn’t been asked of them in nearly a decade. The library is in need of additional dollars to offset the gradual rise in operating expenses, and the staff, volunteers, and other supporters are hoping that voters will approve a small increase to the municipal budget appropriation under Chapter 414 of New York State education law. The proposed increase of 15% is in line with cumulative inflation rates since 2009. What this means for each household is an additional $11.44 for each $100,000 of assessed home valuation. For the library, this means the ability to meet the ever increasing community expectations by providing both physical and digital materials, programs and events, physical space, and computers that reflect Pawling’s current and future needs. The funds will also help the library keep pace with the inflationary costs of salaries and healthcare premiums.
A public library improves the value of community life and enhances property values. Libraries provide everyone the opportunity for life-long learning. They support literacy, help people improve job skills, preserve a community’s history, and provide a wealth of resources and information. The Pawling Library is the very heart of the community, where members of all ages and all backgrounds have come more than 65,000 times this year to learn, share, and grow.
Without community approval, the library will be required to adjust services, including reducing the range of programs and events it offers and limiting purchasing of new materials and equipment. This November, the library Board of Directors hopes that the Pawling community will join the other sixteen of the nineteen towns in Dutchess County that support their libraries through Proposition 414, and approve the funding that will preserve the many services on which the community has come to depend and enjoy.
Any questions about the library’s funding or the ballot initiative may be found at PawlingFreeLibrary.org – just click on “Growing Together” and “About the Campaign.”