Applaud The Library - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1825565

Applaud The Library

The John Jermain Memorial Library is a beacon of light and love in Sag Harbor. I can’t think of an institution in the village with a greater dedication to the well-being of the whole community, from young children to senior citizens, regardless of patrons’ race, religion, citizenship status, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, disability and political views.

Libraries are places for learning, recreation, building relationships and reinforcing basic rights such as freedom of expression. The resources it provides for free are critical and go beyond books. Its director is passionate, fair, objective and sensible, and the entire staff at the library — which is diverse, friendly, and well-qualified for their roles — deserves a round of applause for all they do for the community.

In the interest of full disclosure, I happen to be a journalist, aspiring novelist and dedicated patron of libraries, including those in Sag Harbor, East Hampton and Amagansett. I also teach craft classes at the John Jermain Memorial Library, often on a volunteer basis. When I was temporarily disabled by injury in 2017, this library was one of few public places in Sag Harbor with a working elevator.

That masks must be worn and COVID-19 safety measures must be observed [“Stoking Fear,” Letters, October 7] are common-sense policies to protect not only employees but also vulnerable patrons. It is literally the least we can all do right now. To say otherwise is pure fiction at this point.

To anyone who says the John Jermain Memorial Library is lacking or negligent in some way, I make the case that there are plenty of books on the shelves about science, math, economics, history, democracy and other important issues, ready for checkout, that should help develop an appreciation and understanding for what it truly means to have such a valuable resource in the community.

Christine Nower