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Mar 16, 2012 9:01 AM by AP

7 years post-Katrina, NO opening 4 libraries

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - More than 6 1/2 years after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, the city is opening four replacement libraries.

The first is opening Friday, two more next week and the fourth in April.

A news release says they cost a total of $25 million, with most of the money from recovery programs, including Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements and community development block grants.

The New Orleans Public Library Board recently hired executive director Charles Brown, formerly director of the Charlotte, N.C., Library System.

Brown says libraries should be focal points for life-long learning, and his own work will include a focus on literacy. He says inability to read is tied to many social and economic problems such as poverty, unemployment, and crime.

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