DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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May 1, 2014

Taylor Library budget still concerns Town Council

Town Council chairman moves to eliminate library's budget

(Continued)

Palmer said Taylor Library is a historic part of East Derry and it would be wrong to close its doors.

“I left part of my heart after I worked there for 17 years,” Palmer said. “Please don’t break it.”

Fairbanks said he would be torn over whether to spend money to fund the library or use the money to do something else, like expand tax credits for local veterans.

“I’ve never been to Taylor Library, but can these same services be performed at Derry Public Library?” he said. “Has it ever been tried?”

Merrill said she won’t rest easy until the final town budget vote is taken.

She said she appreciated the councilors who supported the budget, as well as acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau who supported the library in his budget statement to Council.

But Osborne said library services in town are being duplicated at Derry Public Library, located only a short distance away.

That library’s budget is $1.2 million.

“We talk a lot about taxes in this town, people complain that we are overtaxed,” he said. “People say the Derry Town Council doesn’t do enough to keep taxes low.”

Osborne said he didn’t make the motion lightly.

“I don’t think a town this size needs two libraries,” he said.

Taylor Library first opened its doors in 1878 in a space at the historic Upper Village Hall, thanks to a $1,000 bequest from Harriet Taylor. Her sister, Emma, later donated another $1,000 to support the library.

As space grew tight, the library moved across the street in the 1920s to its present location — a small brick building given to the town by Frederick Shepard Jr., grandfather to America’s first man in space, East Derry native Alan B. Shepard Jr.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“I view the Taylor Library as a historic landmark,” Bourdon said. “It’s vibrant and offers children and families a unique experience.”

If that library is ever closed, there is no plan in place for what would happen to the building.

The Taylor family’s legacy specified it could only be used as a library.

For Merrill, it’s another waiting game until that final budget vote comes.

“We’re not safe,” she said.

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