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OREM CITY LIBRARY HAS LOTS OF FRIENDS IN ITS TIME OF NEED - FOR AN EXPANSION

The last time I traversed the wide spacious aisles of the Orem City Library, I was a business-college student looking for resources to help with a report.

The library had a peaceful ambience about it. It was the preferred study spot for my Orem peers - more so than the Brigham Young University, Utah Technical College or Provo City libraries. You really felt "modern" at the Orem library. Everything was crisp, and though it was more than a decade old, it smelled new.That was in 1981.

Tuesday night I was at the Orem City Council meeting, covering for our vacationing bureau chief, Brooke Adams. Agenda item 9.2 was "continued discussion - library expansion." The meeting room was packed with residents interested in the expansion - many of them members of Friends of the Orem Library.

As they made their presentation to the council, I was impressed with the fervor of their campaign to win the hearts of council members and residents to their plight.

The slide presentation made it apparent to me that the once wide-and-spacious library is now a congested, overstacked nightmare.

My congratulations to the parents and teachers in Orem who have encouraged their children to use the library. More than 60 percent of the books checked out of the library comes from the children's section.

Perhaps the biggest pat on the back should go to Karen Ashton and the Friends of the Orem Library and local businesses, who have worked to raise the beginning funds for the new addition. Fund-raisers such as the Timpanogos Story Telling Festival - the poster from last year's festival is still on our office wall - has been a great success. Each dollar raised from the festival has gone to funding the building project.

Ashton has proposed other ideas to help funding, such as residents buying a brick for the building that would have the contributor's name on it. This is a long way from the usual bake sale.

Perhaps Ashton's best suggestion came at the end of the City Council presentation. Asking for one last comment, she reminded women in the audience that a good many of them are supposed to be looking for a special service project this year as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the world's largest women's organization, the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That organization has chosen literacy as a special interest.

(Genelle Pugmire, Provo, is the editorial assistant in the Deseret News' Utah County bureau.)