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Kudos to Paul Ericsson for all the good work

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As I am myself a retired librarian, I read with interest and approval the article on Paul Ericsson, the manager of the Bemidji Public Library. I have had only a little contact with him, but I have to agree that he exemplifies the best in his profession.

Since I retired, I have watched and marveled at how librarians have quickly adapted to the amazing increase in technology in their profession. As the article says, librarians used to be the subject of stereotypes. In my day we were referred to as "little old ladies of either sex," but times have radically changed.

And with the changes the costs have grown. When I retired from the position of library director at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, my budget for total library operations was a little over $1 million. That is what the current library director spends just on computer proprietary data bases and similar access costs. Contrary to what many people believe, you cannot get everything off the internet. Much of what students and faculty need for research you have to pay for.

Bemidji should be proud to have someone like Paul in the lead with the new technologies, as well as with the old, which will not disappear. He echoes the motto of Beta Phi Mu, the National Library Science Honor Society: "Aliis inserviendo consumor" — I wear myself out serving others.

More power to him and his staff.

Donald J. Pearce

Bemidji

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