“The people here value their library,’’ said Cheryl Abdullah, the Dover library’s director. “It’s amazing to see. People use the library as a tool of the community.’’ Abdullah credits the Friends of the Library, a support organization, with raising awareness and money.
“In Massachusetts, state funding for libraries was cut from about $33 million in fiscal year 2008-2009 to about $24 million last year. The state funding this fiscal year is about $21 million, according to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.”
Despite the cuts in the library system, the Dover community has not slowed down in supporting its library and kept it afloat through its efforts.
Difficult economic times are also an opportunity for our state to come together as an community to learn about what we value in our cities and towns, and to decide how we pay for the services and structures we all care about. Civic engagement efforts across the state are playing a key role in helping our friends and neighbors understand both the role of government in our lives, and our own roles in supporting initiatives and reforming the way we provide for services in our state.
Let's hope that we keep hearing about more and more communities that are supporting their public structures the way we've seen residents coming together in Bridgewater and Dover. If you know of other communities please do not hesitate to contact us!