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Barbara Madonna and Richard Russo
                                        All Hail the Public Library!

That building to the right is the Gloversville (New York) Free Library.  You can thank industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie -- a native-born Scot, I might add -- for the building.   He funded it (to the tune of $50,000 1904 dollars) and nearly 1700 others.

Gloversville once produced 90% of the dress gloves worn in the United States.  But no-one wears dress gloves anymore, and Gloversville has fallen on hard times.  They've had to close the public pool and the rec department.  Will the library come next?

Not if Barbara Madonna, the library's executive director has anything to say about it!  She's hoping to raise $7 million dollars for renovations.  (Less than a drop in the pentagon budget, but who's counting?)  Also helping to revive the free Library -- Richard Russo, author and Gloversville native son.  (You can read all about it here, orhere.)

 “I have such fond memories of the place, going there Saturday mornings with my grandfather or mother, who would wait forever for me to pick books,” Russo says. “I just have this feeling that if it weren’t for the Gloversville Free Library that I probably would not be a writer.

 “I’m a product of public education, government-backed student loans, and publicly funded institutions like the Gloversville Free Library. If you’ve lost faith in them, you’ve lost faith in basic democratic principles.”