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I am appalled at the proposed budgets that slash library funding to the Buffalo and Erie County public libraries. The proposed budgets will have such deep impacts in our community that chances of rebounding are nil.

This reduction will not only result in the closing of public libraries in Erie County, but will directly impact library services provided by other libraries throughout Western New York. The cost of providing access to information will escalate as, without the library system, the economies of scale will decrease.

The library system gives maximum service at minimal cost. It has saved money by consolidating service points, ordering books centrally and analyzing the necessity of every public service position. It is the only regional government entity in Erie County. It practices economies of scale and is a good steward of public tax dollars. Isn't regionalism what we are striving for? If so, our libraries should be considered the model.

The proposed closing of our libraries would put a large hole in any effort to market this area for any business expansion and development or to entice people to live and work downtown. Decimating the library system will only compound an already difficult economic situation.

Know that the library community is monitoring this situation very closely.

Gail M. Staines

Executive Director, Western

New York Library Resources Council