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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Is Ready to Disengage From Seven Year Courtship

DEAR ABBY: I was struck by the letter from a woman who felt she wasn't coping well with empty-nest syndrome. She said she had been to her local bookstore and had asked the clerk to help her find a book on the subject. The clerk was unable to direct her to what she needed, and was somewhat flip regarding the woman's personal distress.

Abby, please remind your readers to use their local public library. Bookstores are wonderful places, but bookstores are just what the name implies: stores. Bookstores stock what will sell. Many times when a book is no longer popular, bookstores will no longer stock it.

Libraries are collections of information. Today's libraries contain a wealth of information, developed to help people meet their personal informational, educational and recreational needs. Most are free of charge, with their services available to anyone who walks through the door.

Abby, you wouldn't recommend that people seek counseling from a non-professional. Well, locating information is the same. Librarians are trained information specialists. Please remind people to ask the librarian if they cannot find what they need. Thank you! -- DONNA R. BERRYMAN, FARMINGTON, MINN.

DEAR DONNA: You're welcome. Readers, if you're shopping for information, your local library is an excellent place to begin.