In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.

Mark Twain

Founded in 1889 in the Southport section of Fairfield, the historic Pequot Library offers an eclectic range of cultural, educational and community-building experiences for its patrons -- from its nationally recognized rare book collection to its children's reading programs and Fourth of July Bike Parade. Every year, Pequot lends tens of thousands of books to its patrons, and draws more than 115,000 visitors.

The Pequot Library is much more than a repository of books today; it is the cultural heart of our town. The library houses a 220-seat auditorium, where it offers eight free "Young Persons' Concerts" each year that draw people from across the state to visit and spend money in Fairfield. Pequot is also active in giving back to the greater community: Each year, its "Books for Teachers" program contributes over 25,000 books to Bridgeport and New Haven schools, and the library hosts the largest annual book sale in New England.

The library openly welcomes and serves all of Fairfield and beyond with its diverse and unique programs. It is funded through both public and private contributions. There is no fee to borrow its books, to review its extensive research collections or to simply come by and leisurely peruse its stacks. And so it is more than appropriate for us to refer to Pequot as a "public" library in the truest sense of the word -- "of or concerning the community as a whole."

Likewise, Fairfield is much more than just a town to those who live here; it is a vibrant community with a thriving blend of arts, culture, recreation, natural resources and education. And it is hard for us to imagine our town without Pequot. It truly would be a sad day if it was forced to close because of a funding cut. Thankfully this dark vision does not need to become our reality -- but avoiding it requires that we act together!

Accordingly, please join us in supporting the Pequot Library's appeal to restore funding by sending an e-mail to all RTM members, asking them to stand with the library and for their consideration in supporting the reinstatement of the $350,000 annual grant from the town of Fairfield. For every $1 Pequot receives from the town for its operating budget, it raises over $2 from private sources. Bottom line: The Library will simply not be able to survive such a sudden and dramatic cut in its public funding. The e-mail addresses for RTM members may be found at: www.fairfieldct.org/electedofficials.htm

With your help and continued support, the Pequot Library will grow stronger and become an even more active part of the Fairfield community for all of our residents to experience and enjoy for many years to come.

Michael Herley

RTM Rep., R-District 1

Tom Dubrosky

Ex-RTM Rep., D-District 1