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Fuddies And Duddies

January 20, 1991

I'm sorry. I tried. I waited a week to calm down but I'm still (angry).

I am a "fuddy-duddy librarian"--the kind Lisa See wrote about (Dec. 16). So let's see, that makes her a sloppy, quick-write reporter?

The "dusty domain," while for some a "refuge" in "peril," for others has been the last outpost of literacy in a market-driven world. While politicians have been setting up tax incentives for illiterate voters, they have been insuring the growing supply by denying schools the money and staff to get kids excited about reading.

"Fuddy-duddy librarians," meanwhile, have created groups like the Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People. Its programs and awards have kept alive the flame of literature long enough for the yuppies with children to rediscover its warmth . . .

While booksellers worry about the "basalizing" of trade books, these books are almost completely absent from the K-8 schools of California. To catch up to the average of the other 49 states we would have to hire 5,000 school librarians (fuddy-duddies) and spend $50 million a year on new trade books.

Maybe a tax on new TVs would cover it. Or a system of fines on reporters who "cover" a story without leaving their VDTs.

Lisa See; Dick work.

RICHARD K. MOORE, Librarian, Torrance High School, TORRANCE

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