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Some Oklahoma City parents use the Capitol Hill public library as a babysitting center. They drop children off when the library opens; they pick them up when it closes.
Certain librarians might see this as a nuisance. My girlfriend, Jennifer Jones — the children's librarian — sees it as an opportunity. And she is developing the Safari After-School Project, a program for the kids that includes mentoring and tutoring.
Funding is scant. But done well, such programs could transform libraries from relics of a previous age into vital parts of the community again. And change young lives as well.
Zachary Heath is an accounts distribution clerk for an energy company. He listens to KGOU.