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Rural libraries struggling to remain open

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    Mary Kobell, a volunteer with the North Bridgton Public Library, sifts through books and prepares them for sale as the library prepares to close for good at the end of the year. With the budget shortfalls many small towns are facing, the possibility of losing their public libraries is becoming a real threat.

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    A card catalog is seen at the North Bridgton Public Library.

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    Valerie Messana, library director of the Mexico Public Library, struggles each June when budget time rolls around to keep the library open with shoestring funding.

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    Empty shelves and bookends sit in basement of the North Bridgton Public Library as the library prepares to close for good at the end of the year.

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    Margaret McDonald of North Bridgton and her friend, Michael Moorhead of Dallas, Texas, exit the North Bridgton Public Library after shopping at the vintage book sale. The library is preparing to close for good at the end of the year.

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    Books stamped with identifying marks sit on the shelf at the North Bridgton Public Library.

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    A strapped down semi truck passes by the Mexico Public Library with the NewPage Paper Mill in Rumford looming behind it. With the budget shortfalls many small towns are facing the possibility of losing their public libraries is becoming a real threat.

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