The Journal Gazette
Sunday, June 09, 2019 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Revise policies so libraries shine

The Allen County Public Library has always been one of the jewels of the region until recent events shifted the library in a very wrong direction.

I worked at the New Haven branch for more than 25 years until I retired in 2015. I was the children's librarian; part of my job description was to act as a liaison between the library and the schools in my district. The teachers in grades kindergarten through 8 would let me know what projects and reports they would be assigning that would require reference resources. Over the years I built collections in the nonfiction section of my library pertaining to these activities.

Many times these books were circulated only once a year. It wasn't unusual for the entire collection on one subject to be checked out. I also tried to have different reading levels on each subject to support those students who weren't reading at grade level.

In the fiction section are the classics and award winners. Many teachers will assign their students to come to the library and choose one of these books for a report. Again, these are yearly assignments and are not otherwise the most popular or most circulated, but they should be in all agencies of the ACPL.

The administration is weeding books that have not circulated in six months. Herein lies the problem. The entire collection on one subject can be wiped out. I've read that the new focus of the ACPL is to be minimalistic. This description has no place in any library. We are there to inform in any way possible.

I am asking the board to revise its policy on weeding to 12 to 18 months. Board members need to go to the branches and see the emaciated shelves for themselves. Our taxpayers are not happy with the direction our fine library has taken. The next time the library needs money, the public might not open their wallets as they have in the past.

Let's make our library shine again.

Rosie Hanefeld

Fort Wayne

TV ads can't cover for library's purge

Over the last few months, letters have been submitted almost daily voicing concerns about the purging being done by the Allen County Public Library. The writers are concerned about the large number of books that have been discarded.

The library's director, Greta Southard, states the books were part of a normal weeding process. I'm sure weeding took place when Jeff Krull was the director, but I never noticed empty shelves when he was in charge.

If anyone doubts purging has been done on a widespread basis, visit your local branch. On a recent visit to Little Turtle, I noticed the bottom two shelves of every book case were empty. This was not so just a few years ago.

Now the library has to run TV ads to bolster its image. Maybe if the management paid some attention to the concerns of their patrons, they wouldn't need to run cheery advertisements touting their services.

Sherry Striggle

Fort Wayne

Public schools fail to fill new needs

“I am going to draw a picture of God.”

“But nobody knows what God looks like.”

“Well, they will in a minute.”

The imagination of a kid is limitless. They see no bounds to what they can achieve; they see themselves as a small speck in a giant world where anything is possible. But wait a few years and poof. Imagination is something only little kids play with, then comes time for history books, scientific equations and literature. And the dreams that were once dreamed lose their ambition the more the ability to pursue them comes.

But why? It's possible it's some chemical reaction in our brains that causes our neurons to fire in a more precise way and only well-cultivated thoughts happen. But more likely, it has to do with school.

Public education was created to fulfill a labor need. And just as the assembly line was used to mass produce cars, it was used to mass produce a labor force with specific skill sets.

And while the assembly line is great when you need to produce a million Model Ts, it's horrible when you need try to make F-150s, Tesla model Ss and Porsche 911s because they all require different steps and parts. This is how public education has been trying to function for more than 100 years.

That means not every kid is going through the required steps or getting the right resources to succeed in the extremely diverse and complex environments they are in.

I believe we need to fundamentally change the way we look at education. We might be able to continue trying to make incremental improvements, but this is a very inefficient way to fix something that has a poor foundation.


Fort Wayne

Potting soil buy brings a surprise

Wow! What a nice surprise.

My husband and I stopped at Stuckeys on Tyler for some potting soil. When my husband stepped up to pay, the cashier told him the lady in front of him had paid for it. She left before we could thank her (a pretty, dark-haired lady who drove off in a white SUV).

Thank you so much. God bless.


Fort Wayne

Roundabouts call for extra attention

I have heard about confusion and even accidents caused by drivers attempting to enter and exit roundabouts. The expanding number of these traffic features are a comparatively recent development here in Fort Wayne. 

I think the driving public could benefit from a refresher. Turning to the right, driving in a circle and then turning to the right again at an intersection where we used to simply make a left to proceed on a chosen route can be a challenge for some of us.

I have heard people asking, “When do we signal? Upon entering the roundabout or upon exiting or do we signal at both entering and exiting or do we ever signal?”

Given time, I believe we all will eventually get the hang of driving these things. Meanwhile, when approaching a roundabout, look out for the other guy. The other guy will likely be me or maybe you or possibly both of us.

Thank you for your consideration.

Russ Kirby

Fort Wayne

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