C.H. Booth Library Staff, Trustees Say Thanks
To the Editor:
On behalf of the staff and trustees of the C.H. Booth Library, thank you to the taxpayers of Newtown. Passage of the 2023-2024 budget means that the doors of the library will remain open.
As in many New England towns, Newtown’s public library operates with a budget gap in order to assess the strength of community support and to encourage individual contributions. In many towns, the gap is 12-15 percent per year. In Newtown last year it was 17 percent; next year it will be 25 percent.
The library depends greatly on donor contributions to offer better programming, keep up-to-date with the books you’re looking for, keep the public computers updated, keep the craft carts supplied with projects for our youngest patrons, and so much more.
The library circulated almost 180,000 materials during last year. There were over 76,000 visits to the library, over 11,000 program attendees — 5,000 alone for children’s programming — and the library was open 62 hours per week, 52 weeks of the year. Digitally, content is available 24/7 — and with 52,000 e-materials borrowed, this service is clearly needed!
For all this and much more that can’t be squeezed into this brief note of thanks, the library’s per capita cost to taxpayers last year was $50.18 — among the lowest in Fairfield County. In 2023-24 it will be even less — $46.54!
Considering all the services that the library returns to the community (circulating materials, educational programs, computer use, Wi-Fi usage, technology, databases, and much more), for FY 2021-2022, the value of services that C.H. Booth Library provided the community was over $4.43 million.
Again, thank you to the taxpayers of Newtown for helping to fund the tremendously valuable public library. We’ll see you soon!
Douglas C. Lord — Director
Cyrenius H. Booth Library