By Sarah Thompson and The Charlotte Library Board of Trustees
I would like to correct Lane Morrison’s description of the size of Vermont Commons School (VCS). When Mr. Morrison presented to the Selectboard (1/10/22) in favor of Vermont Commons School, he was incorrect in his facts. VCS has approximately 110 students per VCS zoning application (10/05/21), almost twice as many as Mr. Morrison stated. In these many meetings, we have all had errors (there are hundreds of pages of documents and so many meetings); at one meeting I mistakenly said dirt bikes, rather than mountain bikes (I ride horses, not bikes—oops!), but the chair of the Zoning Board (and now DRB) should present accurate facts, especially when choosing to speak in favor of an applicant in front of the Selectboard.
Support your library
For more than 30 years The Charlotte Library has helped to engage, inspire, educate and entertain our community with its collection of books, publications, activities and programs as well as through broad community outreach. From its modest beginning in the elementary school to its relocation to the Town Green, the library has strived to be a welcoming meeting place for Charlotters of all ages and interests.
We are writing to ask our wonderful community for continued support of their library and to vote yes on Article 5 on March 1.
The past two years have been difficult for everyone. Fortunately, The Charlotte Library has remained committed to ensuring continued access to all its offerings while prioritizing the health and safety of patrons and staff. The librarians have found new and creative ways to provide materials and programs “to go” through porch pick-up and extensive online offerings. Many have enjoyed ongoing book groups and other programs via Zoom. Others have taken activity bags for local “kids at home” projects with their families. The public’s growing demand for these new offerings reflects increased need and responsiveness during these challenging times.
Two years ago, the size of the library nearly doubled. Despite the increase in square footage, the operating budget (all line items except salaries) remains unchanged. This is due largely to the installation of energy-saving heat pumps and insulation retrofits to increase energy efficiency during the renovation of the original building. In addition, some operating costs have been defrayed by successfully competing for state and federal grants and by the efforts of a large and growing group of volunteers of all ages who contribute many hours to routine chores and special fundraising events such as the book sale, the art sale, the quilt raffle, etc. Also, we remind you that the original library and half of the new addition were entirely paid for by private donations.
The Selectboard recently initiated a survey of the salaries of all town employees. The survey recommended an increase in the salaries of all long-term town personnel, including library staff. The outside evaluators also found the library staff “exceptional” in all five of the study’s performance criteria.
We ask that you continue to support your library by voting “yes” on Article 5. In the absence of Town Meeting, it is absolutely crucial that as many citizens as possible get out and vote. Absentee ballots are available at Town Hall for those who cannot vote on March 1.
If you have any questions or concerns about your library, please contact us directly. Many thanks to you all for your ongoing encouragement and support.