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posted: 3/1/2013 4:40 AM

Libraries, don't forsake printed word

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Libraries, don't forsake printed word

I found rather depressing the Feb. 17 Daily Herald story about visits to libraries being up 33 percent in 10 years, despite the fact that the popularity of digital alternatives is exploding.

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Let me tell you my story. I myself am somewhat old-fashioned and love to read books, magazines and newspapers at the library. Several weeks ago I went to the Carol Stream Public Library. As you enter, the Youth Section is to the right, and I noticed at one of the round computer tables there was a little girl about 8 years old who was pecking away at a computer doing all sorts of technologically advanced stuff that was well beyond my abilities. I then walked to the left to the Adult Section, sat down at a table, and took several of my newspapers out of my briefcase. I began to read and underline certain articles, and would then clip some of them out with the coupon cutter that I carry with me.

As I was reading along and underlining, that little girl and her mother walked past my table, and the little girl stopped, looked at me, and said, "Mister, what are you doing?" I looked at her and replied, "Young lady, I am reading my newspaper, it is called hard copy, and I am underlining certain key sentences with my red ballpoint pen. You may now leave, please."

The girl's mother smiled at me, took her daughter by the arm, and they left. So you see, despite the oncoming digital age, I continue to be a devoted fan of printed books and reading materials, and I do hope that libraries will continue to carry them. Let us pray.

Theodore M. Utchen

Wheaton

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