LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Kent County Public Library not going by the book

Everyone should be employed by the Kent County Public Library! Why? Because if you seek a position that gives almost as much time off as working hours, then that is the place for you. I say this as a frequent customer of the library, even when it was located on South DuPont Highway. Every holiday they close for more days than any other organization I know. Whether the staff is paid during these days off, I cannot say. But I do know those excessive days of closing are not serving the public very well.

I refer of course to the posted days off for the Thanksgiving holiday. They were closed Wednesday, Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also, one part of the operation closed on Tuesday! Talk about a vacation for a one-day holiday! I can see perhaps Friday but five days not only seems excessive but is unjustifiable indeed.

And just to add insult to injury they also took four days off for Christmas (Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) and for New Year’s they closed early on Friday (1 p.m.) then were off Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Now I can see taking both Sunday and Monday for both holidays but also part of Friday and all of Saturday plus Tuesday for Christmas? I guess they decided since Tuesday was a holiday in Canada and England (Boxing Day) they should include that day as well. They even took three days off for the MLK’s birthday holiday.

And now for President’s Day they were closed Saturday Sunday and Monday! Taking three days off for a one-day holiday seems to be the norm, rather than the exception.

And while I am on the subject of the county library, I would like to mention two other areas of concern:

First, there is the total lack of enforcing their rule about cell phones, which are posted on the entry door. Almost every time I use the library you see and hear patrons receiving calls on their phones or making calls and conducting extended conversations. The notice posted on the front door clearly states that cell phones are not to be used in the library but the library staff does nothing about it although they are sitting just a few feet away from the person or persons using their phones.

Second, there is a total lack of concern on the part of library staff when it comes to ensuring the comfort of their patrons is protected. I have always been under the impression a library is a place where people could come to enjoy in peace and quiet but not so at the Kent County Library!

Just the other day, there was a group of children and instructors in the back room with music playing, children shouting and even the instructors shouting (to be heard over the music and children) which could be heard all over the library.

When the library staff was questioned about the noise, the reply was they allowed the noise because it would aid in getting more children to come to the library!

And the same thing happened more recently and when the library staff was questioned, their reply was that the children would only be there another 30 minutes. Thirty minutes or two hours? What is the difference when they make so much noise that other patrons cannot hear themselves think?

And what about those patrons who are regular visitors? Does the staff have no concern as to patrons who are there to read, conduct research or use the public computers in peace and quiet? Guess not. So be prepared when you go there to be serenaded by cell phone conversations along with children shouting and screaming all over the library.

If the library insists on conducting those noisy affairs for children, then they should provide a room that can be closed off from the rest of the facility so other areas are not impacted by all the commotion.

Joe Schell

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