, Derry, New Hampshire

April 11, 2013

Letters to the editor

Derry News

---- — Library turns childhood dreams to reality

To the editor:

My name is Valerie Peters and my library number at the Taylor Library is 2201.

My family moved to Derry in 1992, when I was 3 years old. One of the very first places in town that my mother brought me to was the Taylor Library. Little did she know it, but she had just brought me to the institution that had the most profound influence on my childhood.

I started to attend story hour, and after story hour was finished, my mother, brother, and I picked out books to take home for the week. Before my brother and I could peer over the front desk, we knew, and all of the librarians knew, that our library number was 2201. The librarians knew to tell my brother when they got a new book about trucks, and they could recommend anything for me, because I developed an insatiable appetite for reading. And I kept reading, and I kept going to story hour. I didn’t go because I wanted to help my school make adequate yearly progress for literacy standards; I went because I wanted to hear Marge’s voice as she read us a story, and I wanted to find out what book Linda chose to fit the story hour theme. I wanted to use scissors and glue, and sometimes even paint, and I wanted to have a craft to take home. I wanted to be with other children, and I wanted my friends to come, too.

The Taylor Library, much like Shel Silverstein’s Giving Tree, did not stop enriching my life after I outgrew story hour. I came back in the summers to volunteer at story hour for children aged 4 to 6. One day, I helped a 5-year-old with bright blond hair and joyous energy make a craft project. Afterwards, the boy leapt into my arms and hugged me. He probably doesn’t remember this, but I do, for it was then that I realized how much I love working with children. A decade later, the boy is installing storage units at the Taylor Library for his Eagle Scout project, and I went on to major in education and teach at an elementary school.

The experiences children have at the Taylor Library are long-lasting and meaningful. My summers would have been drab without Genius kit projects, Thursday night events, and morning and afternoon story hour. I might not have the same love of reading and the same appreciation for quality children’s literature had it not been for the lovely hours I spent with dedicated librarians.

So council members, I urge you: Vote to keep the Taylor Library alive. Vote for the children of Derry. Vote for the preservation of a historic landmark and vote for building a stronger community. Vote for the diffusion of knowledge. Vote for creativity and for imagination. Vote for the voice that tells stories of magic pebbles and lonely fireflies, of stone soup and wild beasts, and of little girls who realize that with books, they can travel around the world without ever leaving their bedrooms. The storyteller’s voice must never be silenced.

Valerie Peters

Bennington, Vt.

Seniors can’t bear Social Security reforms

To the editor:

Social Security does not contribute to the national debt. So Social Security should not be included in debt deliberations.

Social Security (SS) is neither broke nor broken. Social Security is 100 percent solvent to 2033. Cutting benefits to current and future recipients, by changing the formula for annual adjustments to the “chained” Consumer Price Index (CPI) betrays promises. And the chained CPI reduces benefits, because it underestimates the disproportionately higher percentage of income seniors spend on medical expenses. Chaining the CPI reduces benefits for seniors by an average $130 a year at 65, but by $1,400 a year by 95. Any reduction for millions of seniors close to poverty would be significant. Average Social Security benefits for retirees is only $1,261 per month, less for the disabled, surviving spouses and their children.

How do we rehab Social Security if not by cutting benefits? One way is to raise the “income cap” above which wages are not taxed. Raise it from $113,700 (2013) to $215,000 and the solvency gap shrinks considerably. Eliminate the cap completely gradually over 10 years and the gap shrinks by 71 percent. After all, why should a millionaire only pay on their first $113,700, but a $10,000 or $50,000 earner pay on 100 percent of our earnings?

Charlie Zoeller