Upper Milford Residents ask Supervisors to Keep Funding Library

Residents attend Oct. 20 Upper Milford Township Supervisors meeting to voice concerns about losing library access.

The house was surprisingly packed at last Thursday’s meeting.

It was supposed to be a light night -- there really wasn’t a whole lot on the Oct. 20 meeting agenda.

After the meeting Supervisor Daniel J. Mohr said he kept looking at the agenda and looking at the crowd of residents in the audience and trying to figure out why they were there.

The reason: Whisperings about Upper Milford Township residents possibly losing access to the due to budget cuts.

There are flyers at the checkout counter at the library urging Upper Milford residents who value the library to get in touch with Board of Supervisors and ask them to include library funding in the 2012 township budget.

Library usage by Upper Milford residents has been a recurring topic during the supervisors meetings.  

The residents who spoke at last week’s meeting were there to voice their support for the library. Entire families, like John and Patricia Heid and their two grown daughters came to the meeting for the sole purpose of letting the supervisors know how they feel about the library.

Matriarch Patricia Heid got the ball rolling: “I’m here to show my support for the library. I’d pay $20 more a year in taxes to keep the library open.”

Her husband John spoke next, adding a bit of levity to what was clearly a serious topic. “I’m here to second everything that my wife just said so that I can go home safely.”

Their daughter Rebecca Heid referred to an earlier discussion about webcasting the supervisors meetings and said she was against that added expense, especially when cuts to services like the Emmaus Public Library are under consideration.

“Please do not cut those funds,” said Heid, who, serves on the East Penn School Board. “I use the library all the time. I totally agree that taxes compile on each other and I don’t want to see them go up, but I don’t want to see the library cut either.”

At the end of the meeting Mohr said that he has also been hearing from constituents about the library issue.

“I’m being bombarded by friends and neighbors,” Mohr said. “I just want to say it’s not a done deal. We are still working on the budget.”

The preliminary 2012 Upper Milford Township budget does have a line item for the library: $42,225. The township needs to provide the library a minimum of $5 per capital, ($36,460) or the library is at risk of losing federal funding, according to Emmaus Public Library Director Frances Larash.

charalambos marangos October 28, 2011 at 06:00 AM
It will cost each one of us a penny a day ($5 for 365days = approx. $0.01 per day). I was curious as to how the lending library came to be, and I found this reference: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2236/how-did-public-libraries-get-started
Carl Stevenson November 01, 2011 at 01:03 AM
This article should have been more accurately titled "Library organizes minority in UMT to extort money from the majority of tax payers." I am not surprised at the results of the poll (at the time of this comment 63% against UMT funding the library to 36% for it). People should not be forced by government to pay for "services" that they don't use, don't need, and don't want. The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights and, in VERY limited circumstances, provide ESSENTIAL services (police, fire, public roads ...) that are impractical to be provided by individuals or voluntary non-government groups and that EVERYONE needs and uses, NOT to appropriate funds from everyone by force to benefit a minority. People need to be more self-reliant and not expect to be provided for from cradle to grave by government. Let people who USE the library fund it. If it costs $5 per year if everyone pays and only 1 in 3 USE it, let THEM pay $15 per year and leave the rest of us alone. Remember, " A government powerful enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take away everything you have."
Mariska van Aalst November 01, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Public libraries are a cornerstone of an informed populace. Can we please stop attacking any public resource that helps educate our people! It's starting to feel like the general desire is to turn back to the Dark Ages... Libraries are a great deal for everyone--especially those hardest hit by the economic downturn. A kid who learn to read with Mrs. Vines could eventually cure your cancer or transplant your heart, and his desire to be a doctor could have been sparked by storytime at the library. And don't forget--his labors will certainly keep all of our social security payments coming in! But if we keep chipping away at the system, our economic standing will continue to plummet. We need educated workers to innovate and achieve so our economy will survive. Bankrupt the system and we will all certainly lose.
Robert Sentner November 01, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Mariska, isn't that what I pay school tax for ??? for EPSD teachers to educate and guide our young children. Not arguing the need for the library, but I put my faith in the School teachers of our school district to form the minds of our children on an everyday basis.
Mariska van Aalst November 01, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Kids are not the only users of the library. Enter any public library during the day, and you'll patrons of all ages, especially 50+. OK, why don't we think about it this way--dollar for dollar, any investment in public libraries delivers a 832% return. I don't know many investments that can boast that kind of performance lately.... http://haas.uwf.edu/library/
Carl Stevenson November 02, 2011 at 01:55 AM
Mariska, Intelligence and curiosity are the foundations of an informed populace, not institutions that take money and resources from all to fund the desires of the few. Parents need to take responsibility for their childrn's educations and stop abrogating that responsibility to a nanny state that will teach them values at odds with those of the parents and move them through the system whether they are prepared and competent to deal with the future or not, just to keep to the money flowing to the system.i My Mother read to me and taught me to read at 3, sounding out complex, uncommon words like the names of the different dinosaurs, and in the process installing in me a love for science which led to a very successful career in electronics engineering. My father taught me his trade - carpentry - and I was a card-carrying journeyman at 18. My uncles, electrician and plumber, taught me those trades. I learned, from family, as is best, many useful things. The public school system was, for me, a total waste of time and a major source of frustration and disappointment, as it is for many. I have NO confidence in the socialized institutions of our time that insist on taking from all to benefit the few on the bogus assertion that we all benefit. We need to be less dependent on such institutions and more reliant on ourselves. Government should not extract funds by force from the many, against their will, to support programs that benefit the few.
Carl Stevenson November 02, 2011 at 02:00 AM
Yes, Rob, we pay (exorbitant) school taxes, and the return on investment is dismal these days. Your faith in the school teachers FAR exceeds mine. My daughter has homeschooled 7 of my 10 grand kids and they blow away public school students on all of the standardized tests and other objective measures.
Carl Stevenson November 02, 2011 at 01:40 PM
The reality is that an overwhelming majority don't want to be taxed (even "a little") to pay for "services" they don't want, need, or use to support you and the minority who do use them. If YOU want those services, then YOU should band together with the minority who DO want them, fund it, make it happen, and stay out of the wallets of the rest of us and leave us alone. Stop demanding that everybody fund YOUR wants. If you want it, make it happen on your own, rather than insisting that everyone else "has" to pay for YOUR wants.
Carl Stevenson November 02, 2011 at 01:42 PM
Finally, a study/report done by librarians that asserts that "libraries are a great investment." Wow, who'd have guessed THAT conclusion from that source?


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