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Letter to the Editor: Libraries need help, and this bill makes funding more fair

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Detroit Lakes Tribune by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the newspaper. To submit a letter, email nbowe@dlnewspapers.com or editor@perhamfocus.com.

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To the Editor:

I am the chair of the Viking Library System Board of Directors and also serve on the Pelican Rapids Public Library Board.

The Viking Library System is one of Minnesota’s 12 regional public library systems, and serves the six member counties of Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens and Traverse and 11 member libraries within those counties.

The Viking Library System governing board and I strongly support a bill in the Minnesota Legislature (SF1131/HF1710) which fixes an underlying problem with how state public library funding is divided.

State Reps. Jordan Rasmusson (District 8A) and Jeff Backer (District 12A) are among the bill’s co-authors, and the bill has bipartisan support. The League of Minnesota Cities Fiscal Futures Committee also supports this proposal.

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Public libraries provide access to vital technology and broadband, supporting students, families and lifelong learners of all ages. In 2020, Viking Library System began circulating Wi-Fi hotspots, a service which one library patron called “a lifesaver for seniors and the homebound.” Stories like this one happen in all 365 Minnesota communities with a public library.

Every Minnesotan benefits from our libraries. I encourage everyone to use our great libraries!

Related Topics: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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