Library story makes one wonder


To The Editor:
I’m a regular volunteer at the Bovina Public Library where Marge Miller has been the librarian for years.  She certainly cares about our library and does a lot to raise funds for it.

Your story in the March 14 edition left me with a lot of questions about the Fairview Library.  I appreciate Marge’s concern about balanced budgets and increased financial commitments for the Margaretville library, before the money has been raised to pay for them on an ongoing basis.

However, I’ve managed both advocacy and traditional media, and I know that sometimes you have to make the investment in personnel and plans, to move to the next level.  It is very good news that the library has the capital to venture. Unfortunately, your story didn’t even begin to sketch out what those plans were, and why they’re necessary for the library’s future success. Nor did it explain why the library board believes that they will be able to afford much higher expenses after the financial reserves are used up. This essential information was missing from your story.  To understand the debate, I need more than innuendo.  

I don’t mind partisanship in journalism, but I do expect the facts to be presented so that I can make up my own mind.  And I must say that I have never seen a longer list of conflicts-of-interest on the part of a newspaper and its reporter than appeared at the end of your March 14 story about the Fairview Library.  I appreciate you spelling them out, but it certainly makes me wonder if there is more to the story.
Here’s a toast to libraries everywhere and to ever-improving journalism!

Michael Kaufman,

Editor’s note: In the list of entanglements the News faced in covering the above-mentioned story, two relationships were inadvertently omitted. Writer Brian Sweeney, whose mother is a part-time employee of the library, also serves as an elected member of the Middletown Town Board with Supervisor Miller and his daughter recently stepped down from the library’s board of trustees after having served as its president.