I recently sat in on the board meeting of the Friends of Bellingham Public Library. I was disturbed that the library continues to depend on Friends for funding of basic materials (books). I was under the impression that "public" libraries are funded by the public. Our library's budget has been reduced in the last years and Friends of the Library has stepped up to allow the library to keep its collection somewhat up to date. I grew up in a poor family and depended on the public library to expose me to the delights of reading. I suspect there are many people in Bellingham who do not have the means to purchase all or any books and magazines needed for their families. There are complaints that people don't read enough. If the public (mayor and city council) is unwilling to spend money on such a valuable resource as the public library, I believe that priorities have become skewed away from education and the expanding of minds. It appears that the mayor and city council has come to depend on Friends of Bellingham Public Library instead of accepting their responsibility for the public library.