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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2007
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Group seeks to give city library a boost

By Emily Peck
epeck@decaturdaily.com 340-2442

A local organization is pushing to revitalize an overlooked community resource. The American Association of University Women has announced plans to support the Decatur Public Library.

This initiative, called Focus on the Library, seeks to raise community awareness and public aid.

The program will partner with Friends of the Library, an organization that regularly supports the Decatur library.

The initial phase of the project will raise awareness among community groups and corporations, said Jo Ann Cummings, co-membership chair of Decatur's AAUW branch.

She hopes this will encourage individuals to join Friends of the Library in its effort to secure volunteer hours and financial resources.

Fundraising

"Part of the funding problem is that larger groups have already claimed most fundraising ideas," says Cummings.

Friends of the Library will also work to develop new strategies.

The support Friends offers is badly wanted, Library Director Sandy McCandless said. "The personalized, grass-roots type program that Focus on the Library seeks to implement is critical.

"The Decatur Public Library is at a really tough juncture right now and desperately requires funds to serve the needs of the community."

These needs include software like Rosetta Stone, an in-home computer program that teaches users languages such as Spanish and English.

New computers

The director also hopes to install new computers, a project that will require an additional $8,000 per year.

"Most people think the library is an old dinosaur," says McCandless, "but we're not. There are more and more people coming to the library every year."

AAUW's Focus on the Library hopes to offer the aid this institution needs to remain an important community resource.

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