Around the web: Paying for libraries, pushy parents, too many vitamins

• How does the Dallas library system solve its financial woes? Charge people for books, of course. “This is your tax dollars at work, and I can’t think of a better deal," says the woman who runs the program for the system. Only in Dallas would we make people pay for something that their tax dollars support. Or, to paraphrase the otherwise obscure Robert Goodloe Harper, “Millions for convention center hotel bond interest, not one penny for the library.” Still, I suppose it could be worse. The oldest free public library in the country is broke and will likely close at the end of the year.

A two-year British study found that many problems children face are caused by parents who push their kids to be successful. It calls for a new value system based on helping others for the larger public good rather than pursuit of “excessive individualism” for private advantage. Said one of the contributors: Society has become "tone-deaf to the real requirements of children… in a climate where the mixture of sentimentalism and panic makes discussion of children’s issues so difficult."

• And the previous item may explain this one: About one third of U.S. children and teens take vitamins, even though most of them probably don’t need the pills. Meanwhile, kids in fair or poor health with the worst eating habits — who could most benefit from them — were the least likely to take vitamins. The study’s lead author noted that some parents and teens may mistakenly think that taking a daily pill makes up for a lousy diet.


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