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Keep California libraries alive

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Reading skills so poor they cannot complete a simple job application: That describes 23 percent of adult Californians (whose native language is English). Fortunately, our California public libraries are not only welcoming places with access to wonderful materials, they also offer free, confidential, one-on-one reading help. As a longtime volunteer library literacy reading coach, I’ve seen how reading lifts lives, while non-readers cost California billions of dollars in lack of productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment. Improving literacy makes good economic sense. Unfortunately, once again public libraries face the elimination of all state funding. And, if the State of California fails to fund its libraries, generous federal matching funds will be presented to another state. Call or write Sen. Ted Gaines today. The April 19 budget committee hearings will decide the fate of library funding. Help keep libraries and library literacy alive. Linda Frederick Yaffe, Auburn