It has been a tough year for municipalities. Mandated state revenue sharing was reduced, leaving towns and cities scrambling to make up for that shortfall by raising property taxes or curtailing services.

In spite of all of these fiscal woes, I am pleased that the four partner towns served by Gardiner Public Library decided library services were essential enough to remain intact.

Each year, I attend the town meetings in Litchfield, Pittston, Randolph and West Gardiner.

Maine’s town meetings are a wonderful exercise in democracy and discourse. Residents discuss fiscal budgets and are able to say “yea” or “nay” to municipal spending. Traditional line items may go down in flames, and sometimes new budget items are added.

In these towns and in a year when tax dollars are so scarce, library services were overwhelmingly supported. Residents understand the importance of free, unimpeded access to a public library.

The staff of the Gardiner Public Library is pleased to serve the Greater Gardiner Area by being the community center for the adults, teenagers and children who seek information or who are looking for respite from all of life’s stress by just reading a good book.

We are grateful that the selectboards, budget committees, city councilors and managers realize the importance of libraries and need their support so we may continue what we have been doing for more than 130 years.

We also are grateful that the residents of Gardiner, Litchfield, Pittston, Randolph and West Gardiner support library services. We urge them to visit the library to experience firsthand the services we provide.

Anne Davis, director

Gardiner Public Library

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