Royalton Needs a Public Library: A Letter to the Selectboard

The following letter was submitted to the Royalton Select Board by Cynthia Lewis, Library Director at the Julien & Virginia Cornell Library at Vermont Law School in support of the proposed renovation project by the Royalton Memorial library.

Dear members of the Royalton Selectboard:

My name is Cynthia Lewis, and I am the Library Director at the Julien & Virginia Cornell Library at Vermont Law School.  I’m writing in support of moving ahead with funding for the Royalton Memorial Library project.  While we are open to the community of Royalton, we serve a very specific need for anyone needing legal information.  Many of you may have attended a tour provided by Natalia May, former Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) Coordinator.  (Our new CLIC Coordinator is Kassie Tibbott.)  Natalia highlighted our 2 CLIC rooms which provide access to legal databases, legal self-help books, Vermont Statutes Annotated, Vermont Reports and a printer/scanner/fax.  We receive a small grant from the Vermont Department of Libraries with instructions to provide a law library and legal reference services for the State of Vermont as required by 22 V.S.A. section 605.

The VT-DOL grant allows us to provide library access to Vermonters, but our services are limited to legal reference and access to legal information.  We are not able to provide the same kind of wonderful services that the community desires from the Royalton Memorial Library.  We cannot circulate materials, nor can we conduct interlibrary loan transactions for Royalton residents.  In fact, when community members ask us to borrow a new best seller, we send them to the Royalton Memorial Library.  We have very few titles of general interest.  We don’t have any fiction or any nonfiction best sellers.  We do not provide access to audiobooks via Listen Up Vermont.  We cannot accommodate children’s story hours or other desperately needed youth programming.  Some of our law students volunteer at schools in the area and read to elementary school students, but we cannot provide that service in our law library.

I would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss the issue further.  Royalton is a remarkable community, and as such, the community deserves a remarkable public library.

Thank you for your consideration!

All the best,