Monday Letters: Book bans, safe voting, post office appreciation, county commissioners
Only recourse? Educate the populous!
In response to Robin Pruett’s battle cry to arrest librarians, I say educate your community on the history of censorship and your right to intellectual freedom.
Part ll of the Library Bill of Rights states: “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
Instead of firing librarians, Ms. Pruett’s negative enthusiasm could be channeled in the direction of helping foster an environment of open dialogue and respect of diverse perspectives in her community to find a balanced resolution to the manga book debate.
Susan Jenkins, Snowmass
Don’t let someone else cast your vote
After receiving the most recent ballot from the County, I promptly cast my ballot concerning Proposition HH and II (I normally receive a ballot by mail to my home). I turned the ballot over and there were decisions to be made in reference to the election of a number of school board members. I looked the list over and didn’t recognize anyone I knew. I was not going to cast a vote for someone based on the spelling of their name so I left them blank.
I sent the ballot back to the County, I wondered if there was a way of making sure that someone else who processes ballots couldn’t vote on my ballot for the school board members that I left blank. I called the Board of Electors and the woman convinced me that anyone who handles the ballots is quite reputable and would never vote on someone else’s ballot. However, who knows who might be working those ballots in the future? No one can guarantee that all future workers possess that much integrity.
After a while, this ballot worker concluded that I may be right and offered some suggestions I will follow on future ballots: If a single person on the ballot is vying for a position or political seat, then it doesn’t matter what happens because they will get the seat regardless. If you decide not to vote for either of two or more candidates for whatever reason, then vote for them all. That will cancel that vote out and not leave an opportunity for someone else to cast your vote. That procedure will not cancel out your other votes.
Richard Weinberg, Glenwood Springs
Thank you, post office workers
I am a Silt resident writing to give a shout out to the staff at the Silt Post Office — Thank you for your hard work. They are severely understaffed, working long hours (our mail was delivered at 10 p.m. last night) and dealing with an overwhelming situation that is not their fault. I have been waiting in line to pick up packages the last few days (with no success) and wondering what we as residents and community members can do to help. What I’ve gathered so far is this:
- Get packages delivered through UPS and FedEx instead, when possible
- Cut WAY down on Online Shopping, especially from Amazon — dealing with the huge influx of Amazon packages seems to make the current problem much worse. Let’s support local businesses and our local economy instead.
- Work there — the person working today told me they need 10 people, but currently only have 3. (Apply at: http://www.usps.com)
- Take a deep breath and give the people around you some grace. It is a frustrating situation but being rude and aggressive with the Post Office staff or other people in line doesn’t help anything.
Rachel Zetah Becker, Silt
Tough decisions take trust
Being a county commissioner is tough. Every decision can affect hundreds of citizens for better or for worse. It takes critical thinking, thorough research, and a willingness to listen carefully in order for those decisions to be the best ones possible.
Being on other public committees is also difficult. Especially when one board, the County Commissioners, says it has the power to hire or fire people on the other board, the Garfield County Public Library Board of Trustees. When an issue arises, it’s often the lesser-powerful body that takes a hit. And that could be happening now.
Recently, the question of physically locking up certain adult books has been front and center for our county libraries. A few months ago, a request for reconsideration (lock up some books), was brought before the executive director. Immediately, the library administration, staff, and Board of Trustees carefully followed the steps, outlined by law and policy, to review such appeals. (Prior to this conflict, those books had been requested by an adult reader and were shelved far away from the children’s section.) Three different methods are used to plainly mark these books as “adult.” The books were never placed in the area accessed by children.
Garfield County librarians, administrators, and the library board are intelligent, knowledgeable people who follow policy. Their decisions are solid and thoughtful. Yet some commissioners have spoken about firing board people, if they don’t acquiesce to the demands of a few citizens who have been unduly alarmed.
Please, Commissioners: know that this issue needs a working relationship with, and trust in your library board. Plus, educating the public. Firing the board wouldn’t be a solution.
Terry Murray, Glenwood Springs
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