November 6, 2012
The foundation is terrific, a judgment I can make based on my years as a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune, with a personal interest in how libraries serve and strengthen their local communities. Here, off the top of my head, are some reasons to applaud their work. (1) They spread the word about what libraries do, bringing in people who need, but didn't know about, the wide range of services, including Internet access and training, that modern libraries provide. (2) They build a community of readers, as in their energetic One Book program. And (3) they give hope and pride to Chicago writers at their major fund-raising gala. This year I knew, in depth, the background stories of two of the 70 honorees. It took them both years of struggle to succeed. Then the mighty spotlight of the CPLF gala shone on them. It reinforced for me the best of what this country is all about. That includes encouraging our writers and artists to reach out -- and encouraging our communities to take the time to listen and understand their world better.
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