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Friends of the Library: Costa Mesa libraries are bustling with activity

April 09, 2011|Mary Ellen Goddard

There is a lot going on in our three Costa Mesa libraries.

People are checking out books, students are doing homework, people of all ages are doing research for projects, and there are people working on English as a second language. There are programs for children and for adults, librarians are answering reference questions, helping people find books and other information.

At the Dungan Library, there are groups meeting in the community room as well as others getting passport photos and applying for passports. People are also getting help in their use of the computers. Not just how to operate them, but also how to navigate through the slough of Internet garbage to get what is wanted.

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So when I hear people say "we don't need libraries anymore because we have the Internet," I have to laugh. When I hear that all books will soon be electronic, I don't laugh because a lot of them will be. But it is going to be a long, long time before all books are available in digital form.

It may be longer yet before die-hards will finally give up and read paperless books. And though people are doing a lot of "socializing" online on Facebook, real human contact will not go out of style. As the Barbra Streisand song goes: "People need people."

I do get wound up talking about libraries, and I know there are a lot of Costa Mesans who feel the same way. A public library is the one source of education that serves everybody of all ages, rich and poor, equally.

But a library can only do this well when it is supported by the public it serves. So you out there – you lovers of books both paper and electronic, you parents of children who need to become better readers, you lovers of knowledge shared, please become involved with your libraries. They need you.

For those of you whose children may need a particular classic book for a reading assignment, I have good news. The Friends bookstore behind the Mesa Verde Library has a whole bookcase full of them, and there is a very good chance you will find what you need. The price will probably be between 50 cents and $1. The store is open every day except Monday, from 1 to 4 p.m.

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