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Second-hand reading material is just as good

August 30, 2009
Morning Journal News

A regular library visitor lamented recently about the nearly bare shelves in the magazine section since the need for funding cuts has caused cancellation of many subscriptions.

Because many people count on the library for such amenities, especially since they may be facing budget cuts in their own households, this indeed seems a shame.

The Lepper Library in Lisbon, which like libraries everywhere is experiencing financial difficulties, has one possible solution. The library is asking patrons to "adopt" a magazine by paying the subscription renewal for one year.

Lepper Library Director Nancy Simpson said, "We are going to start an 'adopt-a-magazine' program so we don't have to decimate our magazine program. How many we keep will depend on how many are adopted."

There could be another solution, though.

People still able to maintain their subscriptions could pass them on to the library each week or month when they have finished reading them.

Of course, it would be wise to check with the libraries as to which magazines and periodicals they can use. We are not suggesting they become a convenient dumping ground for just anything in printed form.

But as long as libraries don't mind, second-hand reading material, the donation of welcomed editions would be a win-win situation. Filled shelves would dispel the perception that the libraries have less to offer.

The subscribers would avoid adding to landfill volume and bring pleasure to many others through their generosity.

Another suggestion to help libraries through these hard times would be to form Friends of the Library groups. The Wellsville Carnegie Library recently launched an effort to form such a group. Several Columbiana County libraries have very active "friends" groups, which work extensively to promote library programs and hold fund-raisers to help fill some of the gaps caused by government funding cuts.

We hope both the Lisbon and Wellsville libraries are successful in these efforts to maintain services and encourage local library lovers to get behind their town's facility. Libraries are such a valuable resource that we cannot allow them to languish during this distressed economy.



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