Good news and bad news

Friends of the Lincoln Library column
By: Jeri Chase Ferris Special to The News Messenger
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From last week: Who said, ?If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be?? Answer: Thomas Jefferson. (I know you knew.) And who wrote the best-selling book in the English language (after the Bible)? What is the book? How did John Adams reply to Abigail?s ?Remember the ladies?? I know you know those answers, and lots more. YOU use the library! And now ? good news, bad news. Well, not really bad, just realistic. First, the good news Over the past 11 years, the Friends have donated more than 30,000 books to children through its Books in the Courtyard and Books for School programs. How was Friends of the Lincoln Library (FOLL) able to do this? Through grants from the Lincoln Host Lions, the Lincoln Community Foundation and donations to the Friends. Friends of the Lincoln Library?s Shirley Russell, who spearheaded these programs, is now retiring from this project (and only this project). Grateful thanks to Shirley and the donors who made this possible. Why do the Friends support getting books into children?s hands? Because every child should have books. And early readers remain readers all their lives. Early readers become library patrons. Early readers will become Friends of their library. To paraphrase Mark Twain: the person who does not read is no better off than the person who can not read. Thanks! Thank you, Staples and Wells Fargo, for your recent support. The Rotary Club donated $1,000 to Friends of the Lincoln Library each year from 2008 to 2011 to purchase children?s books for the library. Many thanks, Rotary. And the Lincoln Hills Needle Arts Group has donated to the library one-year subscriptions to both Quiltmaker and Threads magazines. Thank you, Needle Arts. Want to play sports inside the library? Come and use the Wii. Four players can compete simultaneously in this popular interactive game (bought for the library by Friends of the Lincoln Library). How public libraries help publishers (From Pew Internet) More than a third of power patrons (I am assuming this means regular borrowers) use the library to discover new content, nearly 40 percent purchased a book they discovered and nearly two thirds bought a book by an author discovered through the library. For every two books they borrow, power patrons buy one. And, maybe most surprising, nearly two thirds of power patrons buy books that they had previously borrowed at the library. How can we patrons/Friends of the Lincoln Library members encourage publishers to help public libraries? Now, the bad (well, realistic) news The biggest threat to the public library is ? ?The public library in America will only be irrelevant when it is inaccessible. Google has not killed the library and ebooks won?t do it either. The biggest threat to the public library in American culture is limited hours. In the new budget reality, if libraries are forced to dramatically decrease their hours, then they will be drastically reduced in their ability to serve their public.? From the New York City Public Library And how many hours for an entire week is our Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges open? Only 23 hours. Less than one day, you could say. What can we do as Friends of the Lincoln Library do to expand the library?s hours? What can we do to be sure hours are not reduced even further? Please come to our Friends? meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m., in the Fir Room at the library. Bring your ideas and suggestions. Admission to the Twelve Bridges Library: Free Knowledge found inside it: priceless! Upcoming Movie Nights July 21, ?Kung Fu Panda!? Aug. 18, ?The Adventures of Tin Tin? This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. Have a question? Contact the Friends at 434-2404, at or e-mail Author Jeri Chase Ferris is a Friends of the Lincoln Library member. This column may or may not necessarily express the opinions of The Lincoln News Messenger.