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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:00 am

ACPL sets meeting to address practices


The Allen County Public Library board has scheduled a promised public meeting to discuss concerns about its collection management policies and practices.

The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 27 in the theater of the downtown library.

The forum was set after community representatives, speaking at a board meeting Feb. 28, expressed concerns that the library was discarding too many books.

The issue was raised last year because state statistics showed the library in 2017 had about 1.4 million fewer books than in 2014, when 3.58 million were reported.

Library officials said the earlier statistics were in error, partly because duplicate records were counted. But the library was continuing to “weed” books to create space for public programming, and updating collections in a manner that is a recognized and normal library practice, officials said.

Concerned Library Patrons sought the meeting and a pause on discards until after it occurs. The group also wants officials to address an ethics policy that calls for discipline if employees speak out against the library and whether and why the library is moving toward a “popular materials” model instead of remaining a library with a collection of breadth and depth.

Library officials will answer a list of questions provided by the group and provide 15 minutes for a representative to speak, according to an email from James E. Williams Jr., board president.