The critical state of library funding, described in Bob Hoover's article about the American Library Association's study of library use and funding, will have long-term, deleterious effects on our communities and residents if not rectified soon. ("Nation's Libraries Get More Use, Less Funding," Nov. 15)
The article highlights the importance of libraries in our communities. Public libraries offer many benefits to residents: providing technology and the shared resources it gives everyone access to; supporting job seekers, small business owners and distance learners; offering crucial curricular support and lifelong learning opportunities; and helping non-English speakers learn a second language or study for citizenship, to list a few. Public libraries are crucial partners with parents in starting a child's education at the very beginning of life. These services support the state's economy and educational system and are freely available to everyone regardless of socio-economic status.
Libraries have adapted to social changes and remain vital and relevant. But libraries face too many challenges as they struggle to reconcile an increasing demand for services with diminishing resources. Adequate funding for public libraries is essential in a democratic society. ALA's study is a call for action.
CYNTHIA K. RICHEY
Mt. Lebanon Public Library