We've all given toys and presents that the receiver quickly grew tired of and never looked at again. This year, though, there's a way for local residents to give something that will be enjoyed for years by a multitude of children.

The Daily Triplicate is sponsoring the andquot;Library's Wish List of Children's Books.andquot; The next time you're downtown, stop by our offices at Third and H streets and pick a book title from our Christmas tree in the front lobby. After purchasing the book, drop it off at our offices, and we'll donate it to the county library. As part of our sponsorship, The Daily Triplicate also plans to purchase books.

The wish list covers books for children, from birth to age 12, that the library doesn't have and probably won't get very soon. With a limited budget, the library has had to curtail its programs and can purchase only a few books a year. The area's population is growing, however, so the need for more children's books is rising. And as older popular books pass through more and more little hands, wear and tear requires that they be replaced.

Because of this, we'll also take other new or lightly used children's books as donations. The wish list primarily is of newer books or favorite authors who children and parents have requested. All have received good reviews from librarians and children's psychologists.

Helping the children's section is one way all of us can provide long-lasting and far-reaching benefits to our community. Books are a great way to interest children in reading and the world around them. Research shows that reading to children is a good idea even when they're infants and can't quite understand the words or story. Just the closeness of parent and child as they enjoy a book together builds their relationship and a deeper bond. This positive association with books fosters an enjoyment of reading later in the child's life. It also can help infants and preschoolers acquire language more swiftly, in turn allowing them to do better once in the classroom.

Stronger families, improved literacy and better performance in schools all lay the foundations for a an even better community years from now. Who would have thought that one little book, costing only a few dollars, could do so much good?