In a recent article about the Joint Services Commission, (March 31) one of its co-chairs, Ron Bissonnette, characterized the Auburn and Lewiston library expansion projects as opulent.

This misnomer could not be further from the truth.

These are not lavish or extravagant facilities, but are, in fact, well-designed, attractive, highly functional, and responsive to the needs of the diverse populations being served. To refresh Mr. Bissonnette’s memory, the Auburn City Council appropriated funds to investigate a joint library venture and the Lewiston City Council refused to do so.

Rather than bemoaning the fact that the second largest metropolitan community in Maine has two of the state’s finest libraries, we should be celebrating that fact. Both facilities are heavily used because they are needed.

Given the limited educational attainment of too many area residents, having two excellent libraries would seem to be the least of our problems. The tremendous success of the private fundraising efforts, with widespread and enthusiastic citizen involvement to match public funds for these libraries, is a testament to the strength of our community, not a weakness.

Richard S. Whiting, Auburn

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