Town cuts funding to Pequot Library

Fairfield budget cuts might close Pequot Library, which serves all of Fairfield.

While it is in Southport, residents of that section of town represent less than 50% of the users of Pequot Library. Last year, 28,000 people attended cultural and educational programs at the library. For generations Pequot Library has saved nationally-regarded special collections dating back to Columbus’ first letter to the King and Queen of Spain.

“As long as anyone can remember the town has provided approximately one-third of the operating budget,” William P. Russell Jr. said.

“We simply cannot fill a hole of one-third of the budget,” said Martha Lord, Pequot’s executive director. “No amounts of further cuts we can take will do that. We have cut staff positions, eliminating one full-time employee completely, and reducing a full-time staff member to part time. Out of 12 staff members, only five of them are full-time employees, everyone else is part time because we don’t have the money to make their vital positions full time. Building repairs are on hold, staff’s hours are capped and we simply cannot see where else we can cut and still serve the public.”

The library is asking residents to contact their RTM members at fairfieldct.org/electedofficials.htm about restoring funding to Pequot Library.

“If you love Pequot Library and live in another town, you can still act,” said Elizabeth Patterson, the library’s director of development. “Contact the officials below.”

She suggested emailing [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]

“We are a neighborhood library in the heart of Fairfield and the village of Southport,” said Victoria Konopka, front desk manager. “We serve all of Fairfield, but we also pride ourselves on providing library services to Westport, Easton, Bridgeport, Weston and beyond. Our children’s and adults’ programs aren’t duplicated anywhere else. For some of our programs, we have families and adults coming from Port Chester to New Haven. This not only educates and enriches our community; it brings revenue dollars into Fairfield.”

To learn mor about the library, visit pequotlibrary.org.

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