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[Susan notes: The issue of closing the library isn't resolved, but a number of people are rallying to keep it open.]

Published in Lincoln News Messenger

To the editor

Here in Vermont, I am looking at a picture of my 8-year-old self sitting on the steps of the Carnegie Library. In the summer I biked to the library every day for more books. I didn't quite reach my goal of reading every book on the fiction shelf, but I made a valiant effort.. Our Blue Bird group met in the basement, as did the Camp Fire Girls troop. We high schoolers met at the library to do geometry homework. Once we were so desperate, we phoned the teacher. "Where are you?" he asked. When we told him "the library," he said, "A good place to be," and came on over.

This isn't an idle trip down memory lane. When a community makes a library central to a child's life, everybody benefits. A community that treasures its libraries is offering living proof that it treasures its children. And for those that want scientific proof, take a look at USC scholar Stephen Krashen's research. A major reason California children do poorly on reading tests (California 4th graders were 3rd from last in the US in 2007) is that the state has the worst supported school and public libraries in the country. California's school libraries have among the fewest books per child and the lowest ratio of librarians per student in the US.

Lincoln has a chance to buck this trend by supporting the Carnegie. Do it for the children and for the community.

Susan Ohanian

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