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Give our libraries more than pittance

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I hate to say it, folks. Placer County?s library system continues to be the Cinderella of governmental services still waiting to be taken to the ball she so richly deserves. It should be on all of us to provide the horses and chariot to get her there. Thank you, Ron Baker, the county executive analyst with the flashy ties and socks, who has been working with Mary George, our ever-radiant director of library services, in coming up with innovative ways to keep our 11 libraries open, the 14-year-old Bookmobile running as well as services for the Law Library. Thanks, too, to veteran reporter Gus Thomson, who regularly finds story nuggets at the Auburn Library and the Friends? monthly book sales, and the Auburn Journal at pointing out the fiscal plight of a library system faced with continued cuts in funding and increased usage. Our libraries are our community living rooms open to all. They contain our historical DNA. For being the seventh richest county in the state on a per capita income basis and 77th in the nation, it is despicable government continues to treat our libraries like a stepchild while we build monumental jails, justice centers and other public buildings, including a $6 million animal shelter. Yet the library, where taxpayers get their best bang for their buck, is among the lowest third in the state in per capita funding. The library?s purpose is to enrich, inform, empower and entertain. As a longtime life member and past president of the Auburn Friends and of the Placer County Library Advisory Board, I am asking you to please work with me and the hundreds of other friends in raising funds for more materials and computers. You can make a difference with your ounce of prevention in helping assure our children (and adults) are literate, enriched, informed, empowered and entertained in a positive way. It is far better than the pounds (tons) of cure we spend. A way to start is to join the Friends or the Literacy Support Council, recycle your reads at our book sales, volunteer and make charitable donations to the Friends or the Placer County Library Trust Fund. Feed the mind as well as the body. Many of us gave up something for Lent. How about having one less fancy coffee or drink, one less pizza or french fries? Then resolve to give the savings and other spare change to help our libraries. Thank you. With all our help, we can get Cinderella to the ball. Michael Otten, Auburn