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[Susan notes: Thank you, Rebecca Morris. I volunteer at the town library and my optimism about books is fueled by the great stacks I have to reshelve.

Many libraries have benefited from Gates Foundation grants, but these grants are always to improve technology access, not add to the book collection. This grant is typical:

Memphis-Shelby County Public Library
Date: May 1998
Purpose: to expand public access to computers and the Internet
Amount: $140,210
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this. I'm just pointing out that Gates puts his money in his own belief (and profit) system. ]

Published in New York Times
10/21/2013

To the editor

Re A Partnership Built on Fostering Change (A Conversation With, Oct. 8): Bill Gates expects books "on paper" to be gone within five years.

I'm shocked that someone with the power to influence others would make such a statement -- or could even believe it. Maybe he hasn't been in a library in his hometown recently. Libraries here are packed with people.

Yes, publishing and reading are changing. But books "on paper" will outlive all of us, thank goodness.

Rebecca Morris


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