Karen Traub: What it means when you lose a public library

Wheeler Memorial Library in Orange

Wheeler Memorial Library in Orange STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 05-17-2024 2:19 PM

With no library, the town of Orange will lose state aid, reciprocity with other towns, access to grants, and property value. Defunding the library will not make up for the budget shortfall and will harm the town for years to come. When you lose a public library, you lose the only place in town where everyone is welcome, free access to books, DVDs, Libby, Kanopy, Hoopla, interlibrary loan, Lego club, playgroup, book club, author visits, the summer reading program, and knitting club. No more safe community space to go after school, do homework, find a job, escape. If you want to learn about parenting, gardening, cooking, astronomy, or just about anything, you can stumble around the internet if you have access, instead of having a trained professional with a curated collection of reliable information.

My husband and I vacation in Orange. We like to hike the Quabbin trails, paddle the Millers River from Billy Goat Boats, have a delicious breakfast at the Corner Cafe, shop at the Quabbin Harvest Coop, take a writing class at the Book Forge, attend events at the amazing Revival Wheeler Mansion, participate in the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival. People in Orange care deeply and are working hard to make it a cultural hub and a destination. The library is the heart of the community and without a heart, the body withers and dies.

Karen Traub

Shutesbury

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