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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Communists in controlSo they have no money to keep our libraries open. Yet, Oregon taxpayers paid for a multimillion-dollar sky tram in Portland so a few elites at the university wouldn't have to drive up the hill.

They have no money to keep our libraries open. Yet illegal aliens get free health care, free education, etc.

Columnist Molly Ivins often says, "Politicians dance with them that brung 'em." That means illegal aliens and elites in the government class will continue to get a free ride on the backs of the rest of us.

With even the liberal newspapers in the state endorsing change, I was a little surprised to see the same old corrupt Democratic administration elected last November. But with the communists up north in control of our lives down here, libraries are the least of what we will eventually lose. Can you say "State of Jefferson," anyone? &

8212; Michael Patnesky, Gold Hill Rethink need for librariesAs a retired educator and lover of library services, it is awkward to suggest the following. However, I believe it's time to consider other more practical ways to access the services offered in the library.

With all of the access on the Internet that is available, it appears that the overhead cost of a library facility with its personnel costs, computers, utilities, etc., it is time to reconsider what has been a worthy tradition. Books are available on order from numerous sites, bookstores, resources, and used bookstores. Contents of books are available on the Web, as well as contents of worthwhile newspapers, videos, tapes, CDs, magazines and unlimited information. Upcoming generations of young people are very computer literate.

What of those who don't have access to the Internet or the skills for accessing all this information? Friends, groups such as the Rascals, and an increasing number of computer users could assist. A business(es) could be developed for potential service and income.

Why should we depend on taxes and government to provide something that is otherwise available at little or no cost, and is available to those who want the books and information? &

8212; Neil Stafford, Grants Pass

Volunteers already usedIn response to "Volunteers are an option" (Jan. 2): In the 2006-2007 annual budget report titled "Library 2002-'03 to 2006-'07" at the Jackson County Administrator's Office it is reported that 170 volunteers were projected to put in 16,000 volunteer hours for 2006-2007. The last actual count reported was for 2004-2005 &

8212; 139 volunteers had put in 14,763 hours.

The volunteers are many and they are putting in lots of hours, but it isn't enough; we also need the employees. One other statistic (of many amazing ones) was the projection for 2006-2007 of 1,030,000 adult/teen items and 442,000 children's items checked out.

This report is 14 pages (double-sided) of details about what is happening in our library system. All good things for the community. I am hopeful that we, as a community, can figure out a way to get our libraries running again. &

8212; Connie Ihm, Medford