I was interested in Stephanie Mencimer’s article on the computers given to the public libraries and the “renaissance” this has generated (“Gates of Heaven,” 10/30). I do approve of keeping buildings and furnishings in order—those things have proved in many suburban libraries to attract and keep increasing numbers of patrons who wouldn’t go (or, worse, let their children go) to seedier premises.

It is interesting that Bill Gates has provided the computers for Washington, because the township where he has built his huge new house near Seattle has repeatedly voted against providing library services, and even against contributing to the county public library system—so that the very rich kids of Medina cannot even get a library card for the very good, recently built Bellevue public library. (I’m not entirely up to date on this, but I don’t think anything has changed in the past couple of years.)

We’ll see what happens when little Miss Gates is old enough to want to use the library. Her late grandmother—an elementary school teacher and longtime University of Washington supporter—would not have been pleased.

Thanks for a good paper.