Submitted by Meredith McCulloch
I was alarmed to read about the possibility of closing the library for months in order to make repairs to the HVAC system at a lower cost. The library staff and public have just completed a pandemic-long period of reduced services due to that emergency. From all accounts it was successful, thanks to the innovation of the staff and the patient support of the public. The burdens of Covid fell on us all. That success at the library should not be allowed to mask the losses to our community when our full library services are not available.
The public should not be asked to accept another prolonged period of sharply reduced library services so soon. The library provides much beyond its primary goals of finding information and loaning books, etc. It is a welcoming, safe place for children to wait for their parents. It provides computer access to those who do not have broadband at home. It can offer an informal community space to combat loneliness, and much more.
This project has been part of the Capital Plan for years. It is time to get it done. Bedford is justifiably proud of the quality of services we provide, We can have a Special Town Meeting to vote on the needed funds to keep our library fully functional with fewer disruptions.
Meredith McCulloch is the former Director of the Bedford Free Public Library and Opinions Editor for The Bedford Citizen. The opinions expressed are her own.