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Council: We want our libraries

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What if there were no libraries in Lincoln? What if the beautiful new Twelve Bridges Library closed its doors for good? What if the historic downtown Carnegie Library did not open one day? The Friends of the Lincoln Library is standing in the breach as a major factor in keeping our Lincoln libraries open by making you aware of the pending potential disaster but FOLL cannot do it alone. The city of Lincoln has already reduced staffing and services drastically and library funding could be on the agenda again. That would mean no funds, no programs. No computers, no computer classes, no Internet, no job search or resume capabilities; no genealogy research; no opportunity for student research; no children’s reading programs, no Mother Goose on the Loose, no movies, no CDs, no DVDs, no audio books, no books, no teen programs, no Sierra College classes, no interlibrary loans, no summer reading program. All gone if our libraries close. We have only four full-time, including the director, and six part-time library employees to staff both libraries in Lincoln. The libraries are open only 16 hours (Carnegie) and 27 hours (Twelve Bridges) a week. In 2009, the library circulated almost 422,172 items for over 25,000 patrons, answered 17,000 reference questions, supported over 53,000 computer users, and provided 346 programs to over 14,000 children, teens, adults, and seniors. Why can’t we stay open with volunteers? We wish we could but circumstances, such as professional training in providing library services and technology, are required to provide resources to coordinate services, answer your questions, support access to computers, and provide and process materials. Also, library staff administers library budgets, staff, volunteers, and activities. Thomas Jefferson said, “I cannot live without books.” Neither can we. This is what you can do to keep our libraries open: E-mail Mayor Tom Cosgrove at tcosgrove@ci.lincoln.ca.us or contact all the City Council members (434-2490) and request that they maintain or increase funding for library staffing and services – not reduce funding. Also please see friendsofthelincolncalibrary.org for more information. We need our libraries. Our libraries need us. They really need us. Jeri Chase Ferris, Vi Kuka, Fran Neves and President Verna Rowe, Friends of the Lincoln Library members