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LIBRARIES ARE KEY TO SUSTAINING A WELL-EDUCATED POPULATION

It is much too expensive for the area to have any part of the budget of our Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System cut. The library has been called the "people's university." Public and private schools in every area of the county depend upon the public library to supplement the educational process. This is particularly true for the city schools. How can we continue to raise the reading levels of our students if they do not have access to books in their neighborhoods? Many households depend upon the computers in the library for research. Loss of libraries will only cause this area to further decline. A good library system, such as we have, is crucial to sustaining a well-educated population. It is a major quality-of-life issue. More than 600,000 county residents are registered users. People from every walk of life use the library. Libraries fulfill needs unable to be met by any other institution. There are story hours and activities for preschoolers. Adults use the library for research and enjoyment. Some depend upon the library for large-print books and books on tape.

There really is money available at the federal, state and local levels. There is much waste in government spending. Monetary priorities must change so that people come first, not cronyism, partisan politics or corporate welfare. Then there will be monies to go to our library, which truly serves large populations so effectively.

Susan M. Stievater

Amherst