Libraries provide more than just books, movies and CDs

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By Mark O'Brien


Let’s give a shout out to some good news, but do it quietly because it involves libraries.

It’s refreshing in this anti-education, Tea Party era to see that so many people say that they support public libraries, those hotbeds of learning, entertainment and advancement.

A new study by Pew Research Foundation found plenty of support for libraries, with 63 percent of respondents saying that closing a library would have a “major impact” on a community. Maybe it’s because 54 percent of the respondents reported using a library in the past 12 months, underscoring a library’s value to people.

And people get more than books at a library. Many rely on their library for computer access — not everyone has a PC and high-speed Internet access at home. A library is extra-handy if you’re looking for a job and you lack a computer; there’s precious little advertising for help-wanted in newspapers anymore.

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