The sign that Ernest Rice and Kathryn Brown displayed to Belgrade voters urged voters to defeat a proposal for a full-time library director (“Belgrade ex-official contests election,” March 22). It read: “Defeat Article 5, What Will It Do For You?” Let me provide an answer.

In just 17 years, the Belgrade Public Library has become a vital resource in our community, offering programs for adults and children year-round, books and media from our collection or through interlibrary loan, computers for job searches or other research, discount passes to local attractions, and a telescope for backyard stargazing. The library encourages residents to acquire knowledge and explore new perspectives. It provides a place for people to gather, share ideas, and have fun together.

Article 5, which was passed by voters on March 16 and is now being contested by Rice and Brown, will provide $20,990 to bring the library director’s position to full time. Belgrade has already lost two part-time librarians to full-time jobs elsewhere. To attract and retain quality professional staff, we must be able to offer a full-time position. With that March 16 vote, the library will now be open five days instead of four, and the library director will work 40 hours instead of 32.

An active library is one of the resources that people look for when deciding to move to a new community. Many Belgrade residents are working to ensure the town’s growth and vitality by supporting clean lakes, good schools, safe sidewalks in Belgrade Lakes Village, and a thriving library.

I would suggest that Rice and Brown put their efforts in a positive direction by joining Belgrade residents in our endeavors to secure a strong future for our beautiful town. Let’s put Belgrade in the newspaper for all the wonderful things that are happening here.

Barbara Allen

trustee, Belgrade Public Library

Belgrade

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