05-Support Rumford Library08
To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in response to the drastic cuts that have been made to the Rumford Library’s budget for the past three years. I no longer live in the area, but feel that I have an obligation to respond to what, worryingly, has become a trend that we should press the town of Rumford to reverse immediately.
As a former resident of Peru and graduate of Mountain Valley High School, the Rumford Library was often a haven for me, a quiet place where I could go after school to be alone with my thoughts and good friends like Maeve Binchy, Amy Tan, and Orson Scott Card (some of my favorites). On hot summer days, my best friend and I would beg anyone with a driver’s license to take us to the library where we would stock up on books for the week (never less than a dozen). Sometimes I would go and browse the “new fiction” shelf for hours just looking for that next “can’t put it down” novel. I remember watching my little sister rehearse plays for the children’s theater in the library. Even after I moved away for college and grad school, I would always make sure to get a library card during the summers I was back at home.
Thanks to outlets like the Rumford Library, a shy kid who prefers reading to socializing can feel like she belongs somewhere for an afternoon or a Saturday. A community that supports its local library is not only supporting its hard-working employees, but also the young people in the area who use it as a resource, a study carrel, a home away from home. A former shy bookworm, I now work as a sales representative for a major publishing company, and I get to talk about books every day. My choice in career certainly had a lot to do with having supportive parents and a quality education, but I definitely think that my passion for books was enhanced by having that library card.
In the past three years, Rumford Library’s budget has been cut by a total of 40 percent, resulting in the loss of employees, limited hours, and closings on the weekends. I dread to think of what will happen if their budget is cut any further. We should ask the town of Rumford to not only stop the budget cuts but to immediately increase funding for this wonderful community resource. If we don’t, we will be losing a lot more than a couple of dollars in late return fees. Please support the library!