BRONXVILLE, N.Y. — The following was written by Bronxville Public Library Director Gabriella Radujko. To submit your own letter to the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year I wrote about the importance of the Bronxville Public Library in the context of public libraries everywhere. In this new year, I would like to share my observations about our library in the context of its community, the Village of Bronxville, especially as it relates to the concept of "local" as described by Kentucky-born poet and philosopher Wendell Berry, author of "The Art of the Common Place — The Agrarian Essays."
In the last six months, I have learned that an appreciation for "local" is part of what makes Bronxville a successful community to live or work in. Many of us support local farmers at the village farmers market to gain access to fruits and vegetables grown in Dutchess and Columbia counties or to cheese made there. As a result, food becomes less abstract as we begin interacting with the farmer directly, learning about the farmer's land, and, subsequently, about the cycle of planting and harvesting. Our choice to buy local also influences the process of getting food to the table by eliminating transporters, packagers and advertisers.
Just as important is the choice Bronxville citizens make when they invest in the local community by volunteering their time and sharing their financial resources. The work of the Friends of the Bronxville Library is an excellent example. By strengthening the library, they strengthen the community. With each passing month, I see this generous pattern repeated. Bronxville residents who contribute to the community often volunteer with multiple organizations!
Local questions such as "Who can drive a neighbor to an appointment or run an errand?" or "How can we help someone affected by a regional disaster?" are best answered by local residents who know the area's history and the personal histories of their neighbors.
Other local questions such as, "Where can I learn more about a question I have about my tax return?" or "What are some of the best hiking trails in Westchester County?" are best answered by the local library. Together, the library and its residents are actively helping contribute to the success of the community with local assets, the most important of which is our people.
The Bronxville Public Library would like to continue to play its role in bringing and keeping the community together and sharing our resources. Please let me and the library staff know how we can play a role in improving your life and that of your neighbors throughout the new year.