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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Ventura

Library Gets Gift of $1,000 in Books

August 26, 2000|GAIL DAVIS

A thousand dollars worth of children's books bestowed on the tiny, cash-strapped Avenue Library by a Ventura philanthropist is perhaps not a hefty amount by some standards.

But the gift from Carolyn Lundgren, who along with her late husband, Harry, amassed a small fortune in the stock market and enjoys supporting needy groups, equals almost half the $2,300 annual book budget for the library located in the heart of Ventura's low-income west side.

Recently retired librarian Alberta Word was working the Avenue Library's counter the day Lundgren came in and asked how she could help. Word handed Lundgren a list of books the library needs and was stunned when she returned a few days later having bought everything on the list.

Such gifts are especially welcome, because Ventura County budget cuts almost shut down the library three years ago. It was saved when the city stepped in with a $90,000 grant--which it has renewed every year--to keep the doors open.

Lundgren, who doesn't live near the Avenue Library and doesn't frequent it, said she simply wanted to put her money where it would do some good.

Her donation was a sampling of 75 books related to the state's required curriculum, Word said. Having the books will mean children--who make up two-thirds of the library's patrons--will have better luck at finding information on any subject they're tackling.

"If they come in with that frantic look on their face saying, 'I have to have a book on volcanoes,' now there'll be a book, where there wouldn't have been before," Word said.

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