DUMMERSTON — I find it appalling that the town of Vernon is proposing a 38-percent budget cut for the library.
As a former librarian, I know how challenging it can be to keep a small-town library running smoothly. Volunteers are great, but you can't operate a public library with volunteer labor alone.
I don't know where the idea came from that libraries don't matter and can just be eliminated when money gets tight, but it is a gross misconception.
My father was the son of poor Dutch immigrants and grew up in a home where English was spoken as a second language. Due to a lengthy illness in his youth, he was unable to attend school for several years, during which time he managed to read every single book in the Little Falls, N.J., public library.
With the breadth and depth of knowledge that he gained and a little help from the G.I. Bill, he went on to become a successful gyro engineer. I fondly remember a man who had a keen interest in any topic and was conversant in most.
I have heard a lot recently about the shortage of skilled, educated workers in our area, yet the Selectboard wants to eliminate an institution of knowledge and learning that is available and accessible to all.
Let's face it - with a 38-percent cut, you don't want the library to just tighten its belt; you want to get rid of it.
I am not a Vernon resident and cannot vote at your Town Meeting, but I will be there with library supporters, there in spirit. I hope they get the support that they need in order to put a stop to this travesty.