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SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Even in Internet age, library growth needed

In the Internet age, the value of books is sometimes forgotten. Kudos to Athens-Limestone head librarian Susan Todd and the Library Foundation for remembering.

The foundation is gearing up for a fundraiser to replace the cramped facilities that house the library. When the city built it in 1970, the library had 3,000 items and served a population of 41,000. Now it has 59,000 items and serves a population of 58,000.

Libraries serve many functions in the digital era. Most books are not on the Internet, and those that are often cost a lot. Older materials are rarely found online. Internet access is itself a benefit of the library in Athens, as it provides free access to those who cannot afford computers and Internet services.

The benefit is more than just functional, however. There is something magical about a library that blocks the fast-paced world beyond its doors. Browsing the shelves brings a pleasure not duplicated by hard

drives and monitors.

Never has an innovation poured out more knowledge than the Internet. Only in the protected walls of a library, however, do we inherit a love of that knowledge.

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