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TOKASZ SUPPORTS MODERNIZING STATE LIBRARY SYSTEM

In the March 26 editorial, "Stop skimping on libraries, a bargain that serves many," The News rightfully supports legislation appropriating funds requested by the New York Library Association for a modernized system linking local libraries to the Information Superhighway. However, the editorial also states that the request for funds is included in a proposal co-sponsored "incredibly, by not a single member of the Assembly from Western New York."

Incredibly, the New York Library Association did not check its facts before supplying this information to The News. I am not only a member of the Assembly's Western New York delegation, but also a co-sponsor of the legislation referenced in the editorial. Assembly Bill 3318 allocated funding for the development of this system, known as Electronic Doorway Library Services.

I served more than 10 years as a trustee of the Cheektowaga Library Board and have been a long-time advocate for public libraries. Since assuming office in 1988, I have served as a member of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, which considers all legislation relating to public libraries. I strongly support A.3318 and will continue to promote legislation that improves and extends our state's public-library system for New Yorkers.

Once realized, the full potential of the Electronic Doorway Library Services will be incredible. The services will vastly expand libraries' resources far beyond the boundaries of their walls. The system will enable library users to access networks providing up-to-date information on bills pending in the Legislature. Those who serve as a source of information for the general public might find this service extremely useful.

PAUL A. TOKASZ
Assembly Member, 143rd Assembly District
Cheektowaga

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