TAKE ACTION: Save Our Local Libraries!
Speak Up Now to Save the Western Mass Regional Library System
Liz Castro of Ashfield, MA writes:
The governors and legislators have made a plan to completely cut funding for WMRLS, the Western Massachusetts Regional Library System. Without WMRLS, slated to disappear July 1st of this year, our libraries will have an even harder time providing services to their patrons.
Presenting this as an economically responsible action is short-sighted at best. Forcing changes that will put many of our libraries within 2-3 hours away from the one “hub,” located in Waltham, MA, creates new costs for towns and libraries and complicates and threatens many of the services offered. This relocation will force the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and former regions to piece together ways in which the Inter-library loan program and required professional development opportunities can continue to be offered without forcing Western MA library staff members to constantly be traveling to the eastern part of the state. Instead of having a cohesive, well-developed, and experienced staff housed in one place, Western MA libraries will be forced to access services in a piecemeal fashion which, in most cases, will end up wasting money.
Libraries in our spread out, less populated area are a vital force in the education of our children and the preservation of our communities. John Ramsay, current administrator for WMRLS, says that for every $1 that the state sends to WMRLS, it saves our local libraries $8. Is your town going to be able to make up the remaining funds come Town Meeting?
If you depend on interlibrary loans as much as I do, if your kids do research at the library, if you borrow audio books and videos, now is the time to make your voice heard. It’s not too late. Please call and/or write your representatives today. Find your Massachusetts State Legislature by city and town here: www.mass.gov/legis/city_town.htm.
Become a fan of “We Love Western Massachusetts Libraries” on Facebook to get support, find samples of letters, contact information for legislators, and to find out what else you can do.
We folks in Western Mass pay our taxes, some of that money should come home to Western Mass and not stay in the new hub in Waltham.
Please act today.