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[Susan notes: As politicos across the country threaten to close libraries or sharply reduce hours, send your version of Stephen Krashen's fine letter to the local press.]

Submitted to San Diego Union but not published

To the editor

"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." (Isaac Asimov)

The mayor's budget experts who want to cut public library funding should consider the extraordinary amount of research on the impact of libraries on children.

Of the many items in the San Diego Union over the last few days about libraries (âSanders to propose deep cuts to parks, libraries,â April 15; "Community life thrives at endangered public libraries," April 16; Letters, April 16), only Pam Munoz Ryan ("Improving literacy through school libraries," April 16) mentioned these studies: They show that when children have access to good public and/or school libraries with plenty of good books and with adequate staffing, they read more, and thus do better on reading tests. For children of poverty, public and school libraries are typically the only possible source of reading material.

We complain that children donât read well enough, but we make it impossible for them to improve.

Stephen Krashen

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