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Letters to the editor for 7/29

July 29, 2002

Important work



To the editor:

I am a librarian by training and education, and I have worked and volunteered in public, corporate, and school libraries since 1974. I was absolutely stunned when I learned recently that the Library Services supervisor for Washington County schools has been let go, and her duties have been farmed out to "other departments."

What other departments have been trained in the science (for so it is) of book selection and reference, materials cataloguing, circulation, and collection development (which includes annual weeding of specific sections in order to update and improve our libraries)? What other people in the school system can recite the titles of award-winning children's books and tell us what makes them great? What other people spend so much time trying to instill a love of reading, possibly the most valuable tool we have, in our children?

While library/information science as it applies to school media centers certainly does include technology and computers, the computer technology department certainly does not include all of the above- mentioned areas in which media specialists are highly trained. Therefore, it is not logical to have our librarians supervised from that department.

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Nor would a regular teacher supervisor be appropriate. And while librarians utilize school facilities for their media centers, it would not be reasonable to have them supervised by Dennis McGee. Of course it is ludicrous that they would have to report to different supervisors for different facets of the job, so I am sure that is not even a proposal. While I have the utmost respect for the people who supervise all of the departments at the BOE, I would be interested to know what departments are knowledgeable enough about library science to supervise a group of people who are already experts in that field.

One board member said that she hopes the move will not affect service. Why would trivializing the importance of a whole group of employees affect service? I cannot help but wonder how many people view librarians as having nothing to do but stamp cards and shush people. Our school library media specialists are both librarians and educators. They work extremely hard, and their jobs are vital to the education of our children.

This move insults the education and skill they bring to the job. I sincerely hope that the board members will reconsider their decision and ensure that our media specialists have one supervisor who is trained in the subject, and has walked in their shoes.

Stella M. Mandley

Hagerstown




Leave 81 alone



To the editor:

If my memory is correct Maryland taxpayers paid $50,000 to study the widening of Interstate 81. I have a few questions.

1) Why take 44 homes? So these people have to buy new homes to help the economy, and just maybe the development behind Wal-Mart?

2) Just how many people have been killed on I-81 in time frame listed?

3) Was this after the Exit 5 project or before?

4)Why wasn't taking out the median strip an option? I'd miss the trees. This is a lovely drive.

I say leave it alone. Make through traffic left-lane-only. Everyone wants to keep having kids so live with it.

Lisa Shoemaker

Mercersburg, Pa.




Keep kids off mowers



To the editor:

The continued practice by many people of having their small children and in some cases infants ride with them on their lawn mowers when they cut grass is disturbing.

From my viewpoint, this is extremely dangerous. The operation of a lawn mower when done properly requires all of one's attention. There is no room for paying attention to a child while operating a lawn mower. If you must give a child a ride, do it when the mower blades are not in operation. I really believe the practice of giving a child a ride while the mower blades are in operation borders on being criminal.

If writing this letter gives one parent pause to think, then I feel it was worth the effort.

Meredith Fouche

Rohrersville

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