Reading between lines with city library

In 2015, the Dunkirk Free Library held a vote for additional funding. This was due to rising costs, a shrinking population and other factors. The public showed their support for this aged, venerable institution by voting — yes! The word “free” was removed and it became the Dunkirk Public Library.

In 2017, another election was called for to allay expenses. However, this time the voters said — no!

My wife and I voted in both elections.

A little background first.

I have been a steady library user since 11-cent matinees, AM radios, victory gardens, blackouts and a hundred other war stories I could bore you with. By the time I got to the third grade, my reading took its toll on my eyes and I needed glasses. One knuckle-dragging, infantile classmate of mine thought that “four-eyes” would be an appropriate appellation. Anyway, books were my pleasure and escape and the Dunkirk Free Library was my main source for reading and research.

Now, back to the present.

After the first election in 2015 calling for financial public support, I was expecting some changes. But I really hadn’t noticed any discernible improvement (for my purposes) within the library. There was the still-empty shelves and the old worn books. Perhaps its that time when to call it an end. The internet, e-books, Kindles, Nooks and mp3 players have taken the lead and are here to stay. Seems like the voters in the 2017 election caught the drift of the changing times and refuse to support a losing cause.

Other libraries may be floundering, but I don’t know that for sure. Barker Library in Fredonia is the only other one I’m presently familiar with and it’s sufficiently stocked enough to meet a patron’s needs.

The Dunkirk Library staff are courteous and helpful individuals and are doing their best to save the library. But how much can the taxpayers bear?

Ralph Burke is a Dunkirk resident.

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