December 19, 2014

Feedback: Letters to LJ, March 15, 2012 Issue

Let ’em eat pizza

I think the idea of the children reading to the therapy dogs is great (“Therapy Dogs’ Presence Steadily Grows in Libraries,” ow.ly/8WTc1). However, as someone who works in an academic library and has two dogs and knows how much training is required for a dog to be certified as a therapy dog, I have to say that having a therapy dog…help coddle the poor stressed-out students during finals is the worst idea ever!

Are we all supposed to act like helicopter parents now? Give the students some pizza and one of those squishy things you squeeze when you’re stressed, and let that be the end of it. Send the dogs to a nursing home where they’re actually needed.

—Name withheld upon request

Dog magic

The Arapahoe Library District, CO, has offered “Doggie Tales” since 2001 (“Therapy Dogs’ Presence Steadily Grows in Libraries,” ow.ly/8WTc1). Young dogs are brought in by volunteer puppy raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind. As one of the handlers, I can attest to the magic that happens when children read to dogs—kids who can hardly speak gain enough confidence to be almost fluent by the end of a 20-minute session. It’s great for the young dogs in training, too. They have to learn to be still and gentle with the children. It’s a win-win!

—Andrea Loughry, Dog Mom, Arapahoe Cty., CO

More occupiers

I enjoyed this “Master Series” panel more than any other talk at Midwinter this year (“ALA Midwinter 2012: Occupy Wall St. Librarians Wonder, When Did Sharing Become a Revolutionary Act?” ow.ly/95Cqw)…. I wish all of these fine people luck and success! We need more of them in our ranks!

—Name withheld upon request

Continue to inspire

These speakers brought tears to my eyes (“ALA Midwinter 2012: Occupy Wall St. Librarians Wonder, When Did Sharing Become a Revolutionary Act?” ow.ly/95Cqw). I commend the work that they are doing…[and] hope to see them…continue with their inspiration.

—Name withheld upon request

Change ALA’s name

“The meeting dramatically raised my hopes for a more politically active ALA” (John Berry, “Occupy ALA!LJ 12/11, p. 67–68). Dude, what are you smoking? The American Library Association should change its name to Amalgamation of Liberal Asswipes. If it wasn’t for the word library in it’s presumed name, one wouldn’t know that its mission was for libraries. Instead, it is for everything that has deteriorated this fine nation (pornography to name just one of legion). Occupy folks, geesh losers!

—Name withheld due to fear of reprisal

Ed. Note: Fearful, you only quoted a piece of Berry’s sentence; here’s the rest: “when it was announced that three librarians from the front lines of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York will present a program on their experience building the People’s Library there.” No reprisal from here.

An evil effect

“It’s not that the corporations are bad. It’s just that their interests have proven not to align well with the values of our profession and the results have been disastrous for our libraries” (“Joining the Movement: A Call to Action Peer to Peer Review,” ow.ly/9dPpg)…. I am one of the 6000-plus researchers who have signed the Cost of Knowledge boycott (ow.ly/9gzGs), and I am delighted to see that librarians are standing with us.

Big publishing corporations don’t need to be evil to have an evil effect. Every individual I have spoken to who works for Elsevier has been polite and pleasant…. But that doesn’t change the fact that the positions their jobs require them to take are totally inimical to the free exchange of information that science is built on…. They never intended to be the bad guys, but history has forced them into that role.

—Mike Taylor, Consultant, Ruardean, ­Gloucestershire, England

Some need noise

Coming at this from the public side of things, we have people all the time complaining about the “noise” in the library (Steven Bell, “Here Come the Rules Police,” From the Bell Tower, ow.ly/8WSwP). There are days that they complain, and it is actually quieter than it usually is! When we built our new library, we put in a quiet reading room. No cell phones, no talking, no music. It polices itself, and only on rare occasions do we have a patron…ask us to take care of a noisy ­situation. When I was in school, I needed noise around me…to focus on what I was doing…. Everyone is ­different….

—Tony Lucarelli, Sr. Libn., Fountaindale P.L., Bolingbrook, IL

Pride of Decatur

I am a member of the Decatur, TX, community and also a member of the library book club. I have felt ever since I moved to Decatur in 2003 that the Decatur Public Library is truly exceptional. Not only does it provide so many great opportunities, but the staff is remarkable, especially our librarian, Cecelia Barham.

—Alexandra DuPuis, Decatur, TX

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