I have been reading the letters regarding the funding of the Massena/Louisville library system. Some of the writers believe that a well-funded library is a luxury, not a necessity. My initial response was thinking about the ignorance of citizens regarding libraries in 2020. Then, I thought, “are libraries in Northern New York in small cities and towns meeting the needs of their residents?”

I live in Brownville, and the local library book return box has been broken for some time. I left a note in Brownville Village Hall, but I wondered where the local library trustees are in getting this box repaired. I looked online at the local library page and could not find the name of the librarian or a list of the library trustees. All that the website included was a telephone number that went to a fax machine.

I am a big supporter of libraries. One of the leading indicators of the health of the community is the state of its library. Is the library open for convenient hours of those who work and those who are retired? Does the collection of books and the resources both owned and found in the wider library system meet the needs of residents? Has the library progressed overtime, or is it stuck in the 1970s with an electronic library card catalog and required Friends of the Library book sales?

For the most part, the limited funding over the past 30 years is evident in our public libraries — the “living rooms of our communities.” I have witnessed libraries all over the world with books, programming and arts and crafts areas. The most successful are located in renovated spaces that are welcoming and friendly.

For Brownville, I am voting for the best library available for my neighbors and future residents. I want the Northern New York Library System to be well funded and available to all — including those in Massena/Louisville.

Jeffrey Cox


Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(2) comments


"One of the leading indicators of the health of the community is the state of its library."

Do you have scholarly, peer reviewed studies you can share that support this claim? I am interested in reading more about studies examining this correlation.


Libraries are like any brick and mortar retailer. Selection is limited. All they have to offer is the convenience of being able to go there and pick up exactly what you want instantly. In the case of libraries they also have the asset that they're free. But the point is that if I go to a store and they don't have what I'm looking for, I'm not going to take, "but we can order it for you," for an answer. I can order it for myself, and I get exactly what I want in two days and I get to keep it forever.

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