Advocate for Your Library

Libraries are . . . essential to the functioning of a democratic society . . .libraries are the great symbols of the freedom of the mind. — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Democracies need libraries. An informed public constitutes the very foundation of a democracy; after all, democracies are about discourse—discourse among the people. If a free society is to survive, it must ensure the preservation of its records and provide free and open access to this information to all its citizens. It must ensure that citizens have the resources to develop the information literacy skills necessary to participate in the democratic process. It must allow unfettered dialogue and guarantee freedom of expression.  All of this is done in our libraries, the cornerstone of democracy in our communities.

Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. They provide safe spaces for public dialogue. They disseminate information so the public can participate in the processes of governance. They provide access to government information so that the public can monitor the work of its elected officials and benefit from the data collected and disseminated by public policy makers. They serve as gathering places for the community to share interests and concerns. They provide opportunities for citizens to develop the skills needed to gain access to information of all kinds and to put information to effective use.

Ultimately, discourse among informed citizens assures civil society. In the United States, libraries have greeted the self-determination of succeeding waves of immigrants by offering safe havens and equal access to learning. They continue this mission today. Indeed, libraries ensure the freedom to read, to view, to speak and to participate. They are the cornerstone of democracy.

Source: American Library Association

Bedford Hills Free Library is a member of the following service organizations that provide advocacy and support for libraries:

Westchester Library System

New York State Library Association

American Library Association

Be an advocate for libraries by writing to your elected officials, joining us for advocacy days in Albany, New York and Washington DC, and thanking our local legislators for supporting your home library.

Town of Bedford

The Town Board functions as the legislative body of the Town and is responsible for the “health, safety and welfare” of its residents. Town of Bedford Supervisor is Chris Burdick supervisor@bedfordny.gov. Board members include Lee Roberts, Deputy Supervisor, Mary Ann Carr, and Don B. Scott.

State Senator George S. Latimer (D, Dist. 37)
latimer@nysenate.gov
222 Grace Church Street, Suite 300, Port Chester, NY 10573; 914.934.5250

Assemblyman David Buchwald (D, Dist. 93)
buchwaldd@assembly.state.ny.us
125-131 East Main Street, Suite 204, Mount Kisco, NY 10549; 914.244.4450

Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-IN-L)
senator@schumer.senate.gov; 780 Third Avenue, Suite 2301, New York, NY 10017; 212.486.4430

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D)
http://gillibrand.senate.gov/contact
780 Third Avenue, Suite 2601, New York, NY 10017; 212.688.6262

Representative Sean P. Maloney (D, Dist. 18)
https://seanmaloney.house.gov/contact/email-me
123 Grand Street, Newburgh, NY 12550; 845.561.1259

Why Use the Library?

Open the door to change by visiting your library!

What is the public library worth to you?
Ever wonder how much you would have to pay, out-of-pocket, for the services you receive from your public library?

Library Use Value Calculator

Guiding Principles

 Adopted June 18, 1948. Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980. Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council. Library Board approved January 15, 2002.

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.