Update on town library relationship

To the editor:

In the Dec. 31 Ledger-Transcript, you quoted a letter written by Chet Bowles, Sharon town administrator, in which he wrote to Sharon residents, “unless the Town of Sharon begins making contributions on a per capita basis, residents would no longer be able to access or use the Peterborough Library.”

This statement was the result of a misunderstanding about library services. While the library trustees would be able to deny cards to Sharon residents should they vote not to pay on a per capita basis, the library’s doors are open to all. Anyone – no matter where they live – always has access to the services at the Peterborough Town Library. This includes using the public access computers, reading books and magazines, attending programs, using the copier, doing research and more. To borrow items from the library, however, a person — no matter where they live — needs a library card.

Mr. Bowles has since written another letter to Sharon residents clarifying the situation and I wanted to do the same for the readers of your paper.

I would also like to clarify that while the possibility of denying library cards to Sharon residents was pointed out during negotiations, this is a change that would have to be approved by the trustees should Sharon Town Meeting decide not to pay on a per capita basis.

Currently Sharon residents who have cards are able to borrow items from the library’s collection as the result of the continuation of the prior agreement that the Town of Sharon would pay $68 for each card issued to a Sharon resident. That continuation was approved by the trustees as a gesture of good will, pending the results of Sharon’s Town Meeting in March.

Obviously, the trustees are hopeful that Sharon residents will vote to guarantee the continuation of their relationship with the Peterborough library.

Marcia Patten

Chair, Board of Trustees

Peterborough Town Library

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