Do Libraries Really Matter?

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Benjamin Franklin started America's first free lending library, and the Founders believed that access to information was essential to democracy. Now the City of Los Angeles is saving money by shutting down all public libraries two days a week to save money. We hear from librarians and library users.  Also, the suicide of a 5th grade boy who killed himself after LA County social workers went to his home but decided not to take action. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, this year's Shanghai Expo celebrates China's extraordinary pace of economic development. The US barely showed up.  Does that half-hearted effort reveal more than an image problem? Should Americans and their leaders sit up and take notice?    

Banner: Greg Grunberg reads to a student from Selma Avenue Elementary School at the Central branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images