I have read several times Jennie Smith's recent letter telling of her experience at the Columbia County Library. It is easy to empathize with her and her family situation. I can picture her boarding her excited children into the family car for a visit to the library.
Her frequent visits to the library with her children are indicative of the value she apparently places upon reading and development of intellectual propensities. Indeed, her letter is well-written. However, I cannot agree with some of her conclusions and accusations.
There are many places, times and occasions which dictate a quiet, tranquil setting or environment. A public library is one of these. With the exception of providing handicap access, libraries, unlike special-education classrooms, are neither expected nor required to handle special-needs patrons.
The policies of the library which govern patron behavior will be reviewed at the 2007 meeting of the board of trustees of the library. These policies govern all three Columbia County libraries and are applied uniformly. Implied in all our policies is the idea that they are to be administered with sensitivity and full cognizance of attending circumstances.
Again, I want to commend Mrs. Smith for her regular and frequent use of library facilities and services. However, our policies governing patron behavior must be observed.
Russ Holloman, Ph.D.
Russ Holloman is a member of the board of trustees of the Columbia County Libraries.
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