Support West Haven Library

Support West Haven Library

The West Haven Public Library[JC1]  is facing an outrageous and unnecessary $200,000 budget cut by the City Council and it threatens online digital services at this important time as well as the future of both library branches. Please act now to send a message to City Council asking them to reverse these cuts.

A cut of this magnitude will surely close both Piantino Library in Allingtown, and the Ora Mason Branch in West Shore, along with staff lay-offs and reduction in services and hours at the Main Library. The library has suffered cuts almost yearly since 2015, and ...

The West Haven Public Library[JC1]  is facing an outrageous and unnecessary $200,000 budget cut by the City Council and it threatens online digital services at this important time as well as the future of both library branches. Please act now to send a message to City Council asking them to reverse these cuts.

A cut of this magnitude will surely close both Piantino Library in Allingtown, and the Ora Mason Branch in West Shore, along with staff lay-offs and reduction in services and hours at the Main Library. The library has suffered cuts almost yearly since 2015, and there is nowhere else to cut from. This funding will put us back to 1980’s levels, before computers and programming were even considered staples of a library’s repertoire.

When the COVID financial crisis hit the library applied for and received a federal PPP loan to maintain operations and keep staff employed. Thanks to this smart approach to getting outside support through the PPP, the staff, many of whom are West Haven residents, continue to provide assistance, programming, and entertainment for the public, along with getting the library a much-needed facelift before we reopen. A library is nothing without its staff, and this cut is in effect telling City Council’s constituents that they are not valued, and the services that their tax money funds are not relevant.

The proposed budget cut of $200,000 to West Haven Library by City Council for FY21 is an attempt to demand the Library Board spend from their endowment. For years, City Council has not understood that endowments are for capital expenses, which the board has handled responsibly, with funding things such as new techonolgy, LED lighting at the Main, and an elevator at Ora Mason, all of which are NO costs to the West Haven taxpayer. City Council has used the library board’s bid for the Allingtown library building as the reason for the cuts, stating if they were willing to pay $500,000 for the building (meanwhile the developers bid was $325,000), that surely they can either pay rent to move or absorb any cuts they make.

A cut like this will have ramifications for years to come, and will hinder us helping the public when libraries are needed the most. The most common help is with unemployment and resumes, and it is disheartening to think the library will be unable to help those that need it. Please join with your neighbors across West Haven and send a message to City Council that enough is enough. Reverse the cuts and keep West Haven Libraries Open!

 

 
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