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Letters to the editor

Advocate for librariesToday I wandered among the crowds at Medford library. I saw folks of all ages reading, using computers, seeking help from library staff. I saw RCC students quietly conferring together, using the valuable space and resources the library provides.

Are the librarians being greedy? The 66 cents per $1,000 that we denied the library system in last November's vote is half of what it would take to run a robust program. Sixty-six cents buys the bare bones &

8212; fewer hours, fewer resources and services, a skeletal staff.

I am an avid Internet user. There is no way the Internet and the ability to download or purchase text and graphics supplants the services of a good public library. We must do all we can to assure our libraries reopen after their April 7 closure and that they reopen with adequate hours, staffing and budget. Just as I wouldn't trust my health to an untrained physician, I wouldn't want my libraries run by untrained staff.

Please advocate for our libraries by contacting your county commissioners, by talking to your neighbors and by realizing that the best public libraries are "free" only because we reach deep in our pockets to support them. &

8212; Ann Magill, Ashland Libraries are crucialClosing our libraries is not an option. Access to history, literature and information is crucial to any democracy.

As free people living in a democracy, we each have an obligation to read widely, to question carefully, and to vote wisely. Free and open libraries provide all of us, rich and poor alike, access to the information we need to perform our duties as citizens.

Our elected leaders, most especially our county commissioners, need to find a way to keep Jackson County libraries open. &

8212; Beverly Major, club president, for the 105-year-old Ashland Study ClubLibrarians serve the public

I read Bill Kyle's guest opinion regarding libraries on Dec. 31. He asked a question about total assessment and (library director Ronnie) Budge did provide an answer at the next meeting even though Mr. Kyle could have called the assessor's office himself. Librarians are dedicated to serving the public and getting an accurate answer for anyone.

The figures cited by Mr. Kyle for pay rates are the highest in a pay range, not necessarily what the managers really make. One may argue that pay is too high, but they have at least a master's degree, many years of experience in a public library, they interact with more than one branch, and they are trained to access many sources of information worldwide.

Kyle's daughter works in the public sector for a company that seeks a profit. I assure you that if librarians were motivated by profit they would work elsewhere.

Danny Jordan explained in his guest opinion in the Dec. 17th issue how the county assured librarians that funding would be available . The library hours have already been cut back, but the work has not diminished. It is more economical for all branches to share the resources.

Let's work together to find an answer. &

8212; Kathleen F. Leary, Ashland

Already being doneIn reply to Doug Witte's letter ofc. 31, after reading the letter over again, I am more certain that all of his suggestions are so good that they are already being done by many pro-lifers. Incidentally, not all pro-lifers are right-wing conservative religious. Groups include Oregon Right to Life, Jackson County Right to Life, Birthright, Magdalene Home, Pregnancy Resource Center in Medford or Ashland and many churches in the area. Thanks. &

8212; Lorraine Mussack