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The Illinois State Bar Association has provided a gift of sorts to the Galesburg Public Library to commemorate what was the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

The Bar Thursday presented the library with a four-volume set of the books in the series "The Papers of Abraham Lincoln" -- something it did for all of the state's 102 counties.

State Bar president John O'Brien says the Bar was following the request President Obama made of all people at the start of the celebration of Lincoln's birth to provide service to the people of the state in publishing and providing Lincoln's legal works.

O'Brien tells WGIL the Bar's service to the community continues at a time when it's needed the most.

"Times are tough, particularly in the civil justice system," O'Brien said. "The scourge of foreclosures -- I'm a real estate lawyer; I deal with this everyday -- the need for legal services for the poor, the indigent of this state, has never been greater."

O'Brien was joined by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride in making the presentation.

Kilbride tells WGIL he's happy the library is getting a set is because he's concerned history and especially civics isn't getting taught in schools like it used to.

"When I was in sixth grade...we had to memorize the Gettysburg Address," Kilbride said. "So then there's been a real loss of knowledge in civics. So I think this Lincoln project, and the focus it gets in the media, is an important step that we all play to try and elevate the knowledge of civics in our country."


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