Guilderland needs to keep its Gathering Place positioned for the future

Guilderland needs to keep its Gathering Place positioned for the future

To the Editor:

I am writing to encourage Guilderland’s voters to vote yes on the forthcoming library enhancement referendum — and I do so with a special insight into why this enhancement is necessary.

Until several months ago, when I left the employ of the library, my hands were tied when it came to expressing my personal and professional opinions as to library budget votes and special referendums. I was a Civil Service employee of the library — the public information officer, in fact — and had to be neutral in all matters relating to such votes.

Now that I can speak about this, I need to share a few key points:

As you’ve seen from the plans, this enhancement gives the youth areas some much-needed space. Ask any parent if the enhanced space is needed; ask anyone who uses the library if the interior and public furnishings are looking careworn, ask yourself if you would want such worn items in your home, and finally, ask yourself: Do you want your library stuck in 1992?

I believe that most of you would not neglect making improvements and updates to your homes. The stewards of the library — out of much the same motivations — have over the past few years, done amazing work on updating the lighting, installing energy-efficient heating and ventilating systems, and resurfacing the roof to ensure that the building-s occupants — customers, children, and the collection — are in a dry and safe environment.

These vital and aging components of the physical plant had to be kept up. Most of the cost of this was paid for by grants and aid from the state, thanks to the advocacy of Senator George A. Amedore Jr., and Assemblyperson Pat Fahy.

As Guilderland is growing, so must your library. Look at all the developments going up; those mean more library users, more children at story times, and increased demand for library services. Its 2019’s reality versus a building built for 1992.

Finally, to those of you whose children have grown and moved away, and think it’s OK to vote no because your kids no longer use the library, well that sort of short-sightedness is on you. But consider if your parents and grandparents had voted no on funding the library in 1992, you and Guilderland’s students, seniors, and residents would not have the library you all enjoy today.

I look forward to reading in these pages a month from now that Guilderland stepped up, and voted to keep its Gathering Place positioned for the future.

Mark Curiale

Westfield, New Jersey

Editor’s note: Mark Curiale served as the Guilderland Public Library’s public information officer from 2006 to 2018. He is now the marketing and communications manager for the Hoboken Public Library in New Jersey.

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