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Budget Referendum Letter

Dear Community Members, 

On May 17th, Lowville Free Library and William H. Bush Memorial Library (Martinsburg) will appear on the Lowville Academy and Central School District ballot for a budget referendum vote. 

As part of the educational support system and a place for enrichment and community involvement in the Lowville area, Lowville Free Library is improving our operations and looking for ways to help the community catch up on the learning, literacy, and other experiences lost during the pandemic. We are increasing hours past our former schedule, and further investing in our childhood and adolescent programming. We are also looking to keep ahead of the NYS-mandated minimum wage level and to keep our long-term employees at a competitive rate.  

The proposed increase for the school district population approximates to a 4¢ increase per $1,000 assessed, or $6.20 for property assessed at $150,000. In total, this equals approximately 23¢ per $1,000 assessed annually. 

In total, this raises a $20,000 increase to support Lowville Free Library. With the addition of Martinsburg’s $5,000 increase, the increase on the ballot will be $25,000, for an annual total of $140,000 between the two libraries. The impact this will have on our services is incredible, allowing Lowville Free Library to enrich: 

Childhood Literacy and School-Aged Programming 

Our excellent librarian offers early literacy programs and cultivates book collections specifically for elementary-aged students, which are remarkably successful at engaging young readers and improve with each addition. We are increasing school-aged programming year-round, in addition to our yearly summer reading program and welcoming environment with computer and internet access, and book collections (physical and digital) for all ages. 

Technology Access and Support

The library provides a modern-day lifeline: free internet services that are available 24/7. Our installation of fiber optic lines has allowed patrons to access the internet here with greater bandwidth and faster download/upload speeds while in the building or outside, in the parking lot. Visitors use the internet daily for perusing, studying, working, and researching. Our staff is also available to help with library resources and general technology questions. 

Community Use Spaces 

Additionally, the library offers large meeting rooms to be signed out by the public. These rooms are frequently used by nonprofit and community organizations, as well as for tutoring services. 

Adult Programming and Community Involvement

Adding programming and community involvement opportunities for adults, both individually and working with businesses and organizations, is a priority for the coming years, with the aim of offering a range of learning and entertainment for all ages. 

Our research shows that for every $1 invested in Lowville Free Library, 5.6 times its value returns to the community. $10 has the impact of $56. Lowville Free Library directly benefits the students, families, and residents of our district, and increased funding would allow that impact to continue and grow. 

Thank you for your support, 
Lowville Free Library Board of Trustees

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