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[Susan notes: Thank you, Stephen Krashen, for remaining the stalwart figure in defending libraries. Funny, isn't it, that none of our national organizations, including the American Library Association and the National Council for Teachers of English, do this?]

Submitted to Chicago Tribune but not published

To the editor

Isaac Asimov wrote, "When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself."

The closure of branch public libraries in Evanston would be a tragedy, especially for an economically diverse city with 11% of the population below the poverty line ( Evanston to close library branches, Jan. 19).

Research shows that better public and school libraries are related to better reading achievement. The reason for this is obvious: Children become better readers by reading more, and for many children, the library is only place they have access to books.

We keep complaining about children's low reading achievement, and we keep preventing them from improving by closing libraries.

Stephen Krashen

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