“A public library,
privately financed…”

by Dinah Wolff, President

At late April’s Yarmouth Town Meeting, a member of the Town Library Board made a public comment that she thought the Yarmouth Port Library was private, and therefore not open to her; she also said several years ago that as a non-Yarmouth Port resident, it was suggested she visit another Yarmouth library in order to acquire a CLAMS card. We have since spoken with her about that incident, with apologies and background information offered.

Parliamentary procedure precluded a YPL Board member from correcting this misinformation, so there may be many Town Meeting attendees who now think our library is private, and closed to all but certain residents. This could not be further from the truth.

A short history follows:

In the fall of 2008, as a result of a financial crisis brought about by the failure of a $1.4M override vote, the Town Selectmen were prepared to close the library immediately. With a reallocation of resources and the addition of YPL funds, we were able to keep the library open on a reduced schedule through June 30, 2009. On that day, all but token funding ceased. From that day forward, the Association Board has financed library operations (that’s the only “private” function we have).

Since 2009, we have been financed privately by fundraising events, revenue from our endowment, and voluntary membership contributions (not required to use the library). YPL welcomes all visitors, and will issue a CLAMS card to any Cape resident. We participate in CLAMS and cooperate with other Cape libraries for interlibrary loans, use of our technology, and occasional programming. We are a public library and operate exactly like the other two Yarmouth libraries (South and West).

It’s important that those who are familiar with YPL’s unique status correct misstatements when they arise, and promote Yarmouth Port Library as the only self-supported public library in the Town of Yarmouth north of Route 28. All are welcome.