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Letter

This morning I read an article on the Billings Public Library (a family member was a librarian there) and a librarian on staff who stated that there are not enough children's books published to address the library's diverse patrons in a culturally correct manner. This is an obvious deficiency which I was unaware of.

But to the broader topic of the importance of the library itself, I wish to quote the 2007 Noble Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing (1919-2013): "A public library is the most democratic thing in the world. What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants: demagogues can persecute writers and tell them what to write as much as they like, but they cannot vanish what has been written in the past, though they try often enough... People who love literature have at least part of their minds immune from indoctrination. If you read, you can learn to think for yourself.”

I have feared a future "soft attack" by partisan forces on the public library, as some universities have been subjected to. In an age of disinformation on social media, our local newspapers and public libraries are even more important.

Erwin Curry,

Missoula

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