Urge Montclair leaders to give the library the funding it’s requesting (Letter to the editor)
When Montclair’s 2022 municipal budget comes before the Township Council later this month, it is in the interest of our entire community to fund the Montclair Public Library at the level the library has requested — which includes supplemental funding above the mandated minimum.
We are at a critical time, when those who are most in need of library services — working families — have the least access. Catastrophic budget cuts in the wake of the pandemic led to drastically limited evening and weekend library hours at the Main Library, and the Bellevue Avenue Branch to now open only two days a week. It is time to restore full hours and staffing to the Montclair Public Library.
Funding the library means funding workplace development, educational opportunities for all, equity in technology and digital access, literacy initiatives, public health, and support for English language learners. You only have to visit the library website, montclairlibrary.org, to recognize that the essential services and programs the library provides extend well beyond books.
The Library serves as the center of our community. During these days of inflation and the lasting effects of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that Montclair residents have access to a fully functioning library. As a progressive community, our municipal budget should reflect our values.
Please let the mayor and the members of the Township Council know how important the library is to you, and urge them to fight for adequate library funding.
Irena Goldstein, chair of the Montclair Public Library Foundation;
Edward Robin, Montclair Library Friends Steering Committee;
Cordelia Siporin, Friends of the Bellevue Avenue Library
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