Ron Force writes "In a guest editorial in the Seattle Times, Bill Gates says, "Investing in libraries connects us to the future.
"America's public libraries are making a tremendous difference. Today, more than 95 percent of community libraries offer free Internet access, up from 73 percent just four years ago. For many people who cannot afford computers or do not have Internet access at school or at work, the public library is the only place to go.
"Here in Seattle, the public library offers classes on computer basics, e-mail and using the Internet for job searches. The main library also provides Spanish-language courses and several tailored for senior citizens. The library's traveling laptop lab offers training in the branch libraries in as many as nine foreign languages, including Chinese and Vietnamese.
"I am excited about what's happening in my hometown and in libraries across the country. But I worry about whether our society will support public libraries so they can sustain this critical community service. In my view, investing in public libraries is an investment in the nation's future."