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This week The Lakeville Journal is pleased to print a special section for readers that serves as a rich resource guide for our towns and villages. The supplement, included in this edition, comes with a special focus on libraries in our communities, but it also provides a valuable and convenient listing of other resources.

The focus on libraries is our way of paying tribute to the outstanding service provided by our local libraries. But this special supplement also offers a comprehensive listing of key services ranging from phone numbers for your Town Clerk to the names and phone numbers of elected representatives, whether its local, regional, state or federal offices.
There are contacts for police and fire emergency services, and for healthcare services. We also provide information for historical societies, schools and colleges (both public and private), contacts for churches and synagogues. There are listings for parks and recreation and for your transfer station.

The supplement also contains an Advertising Index that provides a resource for the broad variety of business services in our region.

Of course the library numbers are in there, too. In an introduction to the Towns and Villages supplement, we note that the library today has become a community fixture, still a place where the traditional library users come to read, study, work and learn — on top of a long list of other offerings at today’s modern library. But even more is happening within these walls. In an online age, these buildings have become the meeting place to discuss important issues before the community.

“In the age of 24/7 social media communications, the online library is replacing some of the functions of the old public library. But it appears that actual public libraries are on the rise. New libraries are being built. Old ones are renovated. The primary need seems to be a place for increased social and community outreach — for gatherings of people, clubs and students,” said Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth, a professor at American Public University, an online institution.

Our Towns and Villages supplement contains small profiles of eleven libraries in our Northwest Connecticut and Eastern Dutchess County locale. The brief write-ups are written by the staff of The Lakeville Journal and The Millerton News, whose bylines you will find familiar because these same correspondents also provide the main news and feature coverage for our readers week in and week out.

Each libary has its own story to tell, whether its about a new addition or its hundreds or years of existence.

Read about these special places on the New York side of our border in Amenia, Millbrook, Millerton/North East, Pine Plains and Stanford. On the Connecticut landscape, we have reports on Canaan/Falls Village, Cornwall, Kent, North Canaan, Salisbury and Sharon.

National Library Week was celebrated in the last week of April. The theme this year was: “There’s More to the Story.” Aside from catering to readers with books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, book clubs, movie streaming and a litany of online resources, they also serve as gathering places, social forums for all age groups.

Please take a look at the Towns and Villages extra in this week’s edition (click here). It’s a kind of library resource itself.

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