Please vote ‘yes’ today on library referendum

I would like to urge the voters within the boundaries of the Greater Johnstown School District to vote “Yes” to the creation of a Johnstown Public Library District today.

For over 115 years the Johnstown Public Library has received funding from the city of Johnstown. Now that the city has announced its intentions to withdraw financial ties to the library, the library Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to follow the successful path of over 200 public libraries in New York state (including Gloversville and Northville) in the creation of a public library district.

The creation, funding, and election of trustees will result in a truly independent library that is directly accountable to its voters. Voting “Yes” for the creation and funding of the district will result in stable and sustainable funding for the long-time vital community library, which sees over 77,000 people walk through its doors annually.

Passage of the initiative will support an expansion of services, programs and hours that have been requested by the community of library users. The Greater Johnstown School District will collect the library taxes and turn them over to the library Board of Trustees. The school district will not own nor have any administrative powers over the Johnstown Public Library District.

If the library district is not created, the unacceptable short term consequences will be a reduction of hours, services, programs, and staff and the unthinkable long term effect is library closure. Please vote “Yes” today, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the library. The future of this essential community hub is literally in your hands. Thank you.

Barbara Germain

Retired Johnstown Library Director (1979-2011)