Letter: Governor's budget would adversely affect libraries

To the Editors:
(The following letter to Gov. Dannel Malloy is reprinted here at the author’s request.)
Today, March 2, 2015, is designated as “Read Across America Day.” This 18-year-old celebration of literacy aims to build a nation of readers. Unquestionably, the ability to read is the most essential component to ensure an educated and informed society. Over the years, Connecticut has admirably encouraged and supported literacy by funding programs such as Connecticard, the CT Library Consortium (CLC), and grants to public libraries. As the cost of acquiring library materials has escalated, public libraries have relied on “sharing resources” in order to fulfill the information needs of our communities. These programs have made library resources readily available to all of our citizens, and it made good economic sense!
Regrettably, your budget proposal and provisions of Governor’s Bill No. 942, An Act Implementing the Budget Recommendations of the Governor Concerning Education, will repeal funding for these programs. Such a move, we believe, will not lead us to a path of advancement and innovation. We urge you to revisit your proposal to eliminate the funding for Connecticard, the CT Library Consortium (CLC), and grants to public libraries. As the esteemed journalist Walter Cronkite said, “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
Please support these essential public library programs. Thank you.
Elaine Tai-Lauria
Executive Director
Wilton Library
A.P. Duffy
President
Wilton Library Association Inc.
Wilton, March 16