Letters to the Editor

Library board acted thoughtfully when it eliminated DVDs

Because of inaccurate information and emotional charges in the media and on the Internet, I felt the need to respond.

I am going into my eighth year as chairman of the Library Board of Trustees. During that time many items have come before the board requiring sound judgment based on factual information.

Many decisions have not been easy. Many affected family and friends as library customers.

But consistently, the good of the Gwinnett County taxpayer served as the check and balance, using a cost-benefit model.

The library staff works hard to make sound, cost-effective decisions and recommendations. One example that benefited all library users was the plan that allowed the library to offer Sunday hours year round without adding staff.

For the past 18 months, the staff has researched options for providing access to children's DVDs in a way that would encourage use of the collection while protecting the taxpayers' investment. They have implemented, monitored and changed strategies, but the strategies that encourage high use of this collection do not adequately protect it from a determined thief.

To be good stewards of the taxpayers' dollars, the staff reluctantly recommended elimination of this collection, and the board unanimously agreed.

While the library will no longer provide children's materials in the DVD or video format, it will continue to provide many other resources and programs to meet our customers' educational needs.

-Dan English


Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees

Libraries must adjust to life in 21st century

While libraries are adjusting to an evolving market, they must consider the patrons who fund and use the facilities. Where as a consumer can choose a different retailer if unsatisfied, a library patron does not have this choice.

Libraries have evolved from the traditional quiet academic environment to become a dynamic social center, thus ensuring a future role in the community. This facility serves as a DVD store, bookstore and coffee house alike.

Gwinnett County has spent large sums of money to create a 21st century library, but has failed to secure our resources properly. A loss of 40 percent is not acceptable and should not be tolerated.

Other libraries and business have solved this enigma. Why can't Gwinnett? With materials that cost well over $200,000 walking through the door, has the current administration created a DVD giveaway program?

It seems to me that if the library has limited funding, it would do a better job of protecting its assets. If it was a business, it would be insolvent.

Libraries are designed to serve the public that supports them. The citizens of Gwinnett who frequent our public libraries want the materials on the shelf, not be told they can purchase or rent the materials from a retailer.

As the library struggles to define its role in 21st century Gwinnett, it must not forget who funds and frequents the facilities.

-Wes Patterson