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Photo Gallery: Sale and Celebration at the Library

Annual Friends Book Sale and a $7.5 million grant celebration this weekend at the Belmont Public Library.

Despite the rise of the Kindle and iPad, there is something appealing about a book.

You can drop them to the side of a chair or bed, put them away for a spell on a shelf, even use them periodically as a doorstop, but still, to hold a book on one's hands and read is a natural and even comforting feeling.

And for those and many other reasons, patrons, residents, people from neighboring towns and a few book dealers came around for the annual three-day Friends of the Belmont Public Library's book sale.

With prices ranging from 50 cents for childrens' books and "supermarket" paperbacks to $4 for coffee table art books and $5 for a bag of books on Sunday afternnon, the sale proceeds will be used by the Friends to purchase museum tickets, brings authors and musicians to the library and supports the staff.

In addition, Saturday morning, the Friends along with the Board of Library Trustees and staff held a celebration outside the Children's Room to acknowledge the state issuing a $7.5 million grant to contruct a new $19 million library across Concord Avenue from the present site.

Lee Adams October 16, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I don't believe any official approvals have been made for this unneeded $19-million library. Just because these special interests (the Friends along with the Board of Library Trustees) pretend it’s a reality, as many of us will recall that President George Bush did with his claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction to invade Iraq, which were never found and later proven the Administration lied. It’s wonderful they were awarded a $7.5-million state grant doesn't change anything. When a new library was first purposed several years ago the majority of the town were against it. Many began asking questions as why weren’t needed repairs perform accordingly instead of letting them go undone further making the repair more costly? And a far more important question, who really uses the library today? I know I’ve been to the library once or twice in my 17 years as a resident only to pick up some tax forms since the Post Office was out. I do my research online, as many of our students do today in the electronic age. I use a Kindle e-reader to read book as I commute to and from work via the MBTA every day. I browse and buy my books online through amazon, Barnes & Noble, alibris, etc. I rather see the $7.5-million go to some other town than subject out town residents to further debt, increase to our property taxes and leaving a financial disaster to future generations. Irresponsible spending is a wrong message and example to leave as a Legacy to our future generations. Thank you.
Franklin Tucker (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Dear Lee: Thanks for the comment. I never though I would ever see the Belmont Public Library and Weapons of Mass Destruction be used in the same letter! Your concern on increased town debt appears to be the main issue facing library supporters which will need to be answered before the May Town Meeting when a bonding vote will come before the representatives. Just a few numbers: while you have only been in the library a few times, there were 288,329 visits to the library in 2011, or about 10 visits for every person in town. And since you are a Kindle user, did you know as a library member you can download e-books for free? You could save sending bucks to Amazon. Finally, couldn't a new library be seen as a legacy? One person's legacy is another person's legacy. Hmmmmmm.
Sarah Phillips October 16, 2012 at 02:32 AM
How sad that you have only been to the library once or twice in 17 years, and that to pick up tax forms! How sad that you are paying for commuter reading when it is free at the library. Perhaps you should hold off on your judgement until you've experienced what you criticize.
Lee Adams October 17, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Hi Franklin: As always, thank you for a follow up. It would interesting to know how many visits the library had per year in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s when library(ies) served as the center for research and information. Would the trend show an increase, flat line of steady use, or what I suspect, a decrease in use? What are the demographics of those 289,329 visitors you sited – students, parent with children, seniors? As an amazon.com Prime member I have access to over 180,000 books for FREE as well. I don’t believe the Belmont library offers as many. A legacy worth leaving is one where the town preserves its public institutions through proper maintenance, leads by fiscal responsibility, and has a minimal of debt; rather than, a having a new library and over $200-million, and growing, worth of debt. Which legacy do you want to leave your children and grandchildren? I referenced WMD to illustrate how LIES which are repeated often enough can appear to be the truth. These Special Interests (the Friends along with the Board of Library Trustees) have started a vocal campaign having plans drawn up, seeking state grants, asking for private donations and hoping the taxpayers will foot the difference all without any official approval from the Town. True?
Lee Adams October 17, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Hello Sarah: I find it easier to hold a kindle in one hand rather than a book while riding the MBTA. Maybe that’s odd but it’s what feels comfortable to me. I do hope you’ll take some time and share with us how the library has benefited you, your experiences and how you use it? Are you doing research, going there to read and hang out, taking you child(ern) their because of activities there? Then take a few moments and honestly explain how a town can afford such a capital project with its escalating debt (debt obligations and current borrowed money), failure to operate within its budget ($80-million in tax revenue per year), can’t control its spending and is unable to provide basic services. These are some of the major issues facing our town today which I’m sure you would agree with. As for judgment, criticizing a bad decision like a new library the town can’t afford is acceptable. Especially when people feel one is warranted with the intentions of increasing taxes, mine and every taxpayer in Belmont.

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