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Thursday, May 14, 2015

National Endowment for Digital Libraries Needed

We need a National Digital-Library Endowment

Jim Duncan & David H. Rothman | May 12, 2015

As a boy, Warren Buffett is said to have read book after book on money.

Thankfully, he did not live in Los Angeles and rely on the library at Roy Romer Middle School. Students there couldn't check out a Buffett biography, or any other title, when a Los Angeles Timesreporter dropped by last year. The reason? The library at the time was locked up because of staff cuts.
Wait. It gets worse. Romer Middle School has lots of company throughout the United States in its school library horrors. One hundred and seventy-six certified librarians worked in the Philadelphia city schools in 1991. Today, the count is just 11 in the 218-school district.
But Mr. Buffett and other members of the super-rich could at least help, through a national digital-library endowment, funded by interested billionaires. The endowment could help pay for librarians, e-books, other content, and related technology for school and public libraries. It could especially target high-poverty areas and promote the hiring and professional development of minority librarians—while also nurturing the love of literature for the new America.

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