UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Residents push to keep library open

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Residents push to keep library open

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) -- In Fairfield, keeping a beloved library open has come down to a question of dollars and cents. Town hall says the budgetary numbers don't add up, but some local residents aren't ready to throw in the towel just yet.

The town of Fairfield voted down a $350,000 budget contribution to Pequot Library. Now, the 124-year-old privately-owned library may have to close its doors.

"The question is always the trade off between tax dollars and what resources or services get removed from the budget. In this case I think they just went a bit too far," said First Selectman Mike Tetreau.

Pequot already gets two thirds of its operating budget from donations. Directors say raising the additional funds needed to stay open will be almost impossible.

"Some children up on Redding Road had a lemonade stand sale last week and they raised $180 and sent it to us. So, everybody's doing something in their own way," said Martha Lord, Pequot Library Executive Director.

Since the cuts were announced, people have stepped up to get the word out that Pequot needs to be saved.

When we hear the word library, the first thing we think of is books. However, there's a lot more that goes on inside the walls and parents say if the library were to close its doors for good, it's the little ones who will lose the most."

A group of home schoolers meets there on a regular basis.

"It made me feel horrible, cause who would wanna close down a library," questioned 9-year-old Brooks Barry, of Southport. "They didn't do anything and they were just giving books."

"It's more than just the books. It's the people who work here," said Katia Mead. "And who have inspired my children to start so many projects and really opened their mind."

Culture, history, and a sense of community that many hope doesn't fall victim to financial struggles. Tetreau filed an appeal and said he thinks the board is unaware of what the community stands to lose.

"I hope that we can keep coming here," said Emma Langdon.

See the video here: http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/fairfield_cty/residents-push-to-keep-library-open#.UWjd7LG9KK0

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