We, the undersigned, urge the restoration of Dutchess County funding for public libraries to the 2008 level of $249,983. This funding has proven to be critical for maintaining academic readiness for children involved in summer reading programs, for maintaining equitable access throughout the County to resources for education and leisure activity, and for ensuring access to qualified library staff and resources 7 days a week to all County residents. Additionally, public libraries can use County funding in a most efficient manner, often seeing $7 of service for every $2 of investment. Public libraries are part of the backbone of a free and democratic society. Ensuring equitable access to services and programs, with County funding being part of the plan, is critical to the making of an informed citizenry as well as making Dutchess County a desirable place to live. NOTE (added Friday evening, November 14): There is a PayPal donation request after you sign the petition. This is optional and is a donation request from iPetitions to support their services. There is no obligation on the signers part to make a donation and the libraries will not receive any donated funds.