, Salem, MA

April 21, 2014

Letter: Libraries are the equalizer

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

The heading for this letter to the editor is not a new American superhero – it is at least 242 years old in Middleton. In 1772, the very first library was started only 44 years after the town of Middleton was incorporated in 1728. This first library had 71 volumes. It was located in the home of Rev. Elias Smith who also served as librarian. Members of the first Board of Trustees were Smith, Archelaus Fuller and Dr. Silas Merriam.

The Flint Public Library has certainly come a long way in almost 250 years! Public libraries everywhere are no longer “book barns” that just hold books. The patron once went into the building, borrowed a book and then returned it two weeks later. If your town library didn’t own the book – too bad – you did not get to have it. Libraries can now readily borrow items from other libraries throughout the state. The public libraries are so much more than just books.” Libraries now offer all the newest best sellers, DVDs, graphic novels, free Internet, magazines, CDs, maps, online databases, newspapers, reference materials, special programs and events for all ages, Wi-Fi, free meeting and studying space, story hours and so, so much more!

The Flint Public Library is the heart of the community. Every library is certainly the equalizer in every community. Citizens of any age, race, religion, political persuasion, veteran, non-veteran, socio-economic status, etc. may use and is encouraged to use the library.

Your library card gives you more bang for the buck than any other card you may carry in your wallet or purse!

In years past, libraries reacted to people’s needs; today, they are proactive! Town meetings will soon be convening all over the North Shore. When the warrant is read by the moderator, just remember how far your tax dollar for libraries (only 1.5 percent of the Middleton town budget) is going for all members of your community. The free public library in every city and town welcomes everyone and is truly the great equalizer!

Shirley Raynard