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London Man Works to Bring Library to Underserved Valley Town

A new library may soon be headed to London, a city just south of Kingsburg in Tulare County, where poverty runs high and resources run low.  It's the dream of a Valley man to bring library access to kids in underserved communities, and it's quickly becoming a reality.

Tucked away in rural Tulare County, with a population of about 2,000, there's not much going on in the city of London.  There's a few homes, a preschool and a storage shed full of dreams.

Robert Isquierdo, founder of the Library for London project, says, "London is going to have a library."

It's a venture very near and dear to Isquierdo's heart; bringing literacy and a first ever library to the very town he grew up in.

"This is kind of a life or death situation because leading down a certain path whether that's drugs, or crimes or jail, I've seen that happen to a lot of my peers and my friends," says Isquierdo.

The vision is well on it's way.  About 6,000 books have already been donated, along with computers, furniture and a portable building that may house the library.

Isquierdo says, "Studies have shown that the presence of a library increases the college graduation rate in any town where it's present."

Local students of all ages, whose only library access requires traveling out of town, can't wait for the doors to open.

Dinuba High School senior Beatriz Antonio says, "I think it's a great idea to have internet to have books for research, whatever it is.  It's very important for kids to have that resource."

Dozens of people are pitching in to make it happen, meeting once a month to discuss plans.  Isquierdo makes the long drive from Santa Clarita, where he currently lives and teaches middle school, all to bring hope and a better future to his hometown.

"If my children have a library, why shouldn't the children here in London, my community," says Isquierdo.

Isquierdo has made a promise to the people of London that he won't give up until the library is open, but he does need all the help he can get, including donations of more books and Dvd's.  He's also hoping to raise $100,000 to help purchase the land for the library and to staff it.

To donate to the Library for London Project, click on the link www.tularecountylibraryfoundation.org

***When donating you must type in "Library for London Project" in the Special Instructions box provided.

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