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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

On hold

 Perhaps limiting the items that can be put on hold to five is too strict, and the Allen County Public Library is being unreasonable. But wasn't the previous policy of allowing an unlimited number of items to be put on hold a little too generous? Home-schoolers don't think so:

A change in policy at the Allen County Public Library is causing concern among home-schoolers - and, as a result, the Allen County Commissioners.

The commissioners said Monday people who are teaching their children at home have objected to the library's new policy of limiting the number of books and other items that can be placed on hold to five - making it more difficult to assemble classroom materials.

Am I wrong to object on philosophic grounds to what the home-schoolers want? The parents are able to send their children to public schools and choose not to (and considering the success of home-schooled kids, it's hard to argue that they get a bad education). That's their choice and their financial burden to bear. But they want me (and you) to help pay for it.

I already help pay for public schools through my tax dollars. My taxes go for library services, too, including the extra costs associated with the unlimited-hold policy. We all pay for public transportation. If I want to pay extra to take a taxi instead of the public bus, that's my call and my bill to pay. We all pay for police protection. If my neighborhood association also wants to hire a private security firm to patrol our streets, that's not your financial responsibility.


Jennie Ward
Thu, 06/05/2008 - 10:05am

Yes, you do pay for public schools through your taxes, as do the homeschool families. As well, if you choose to not use the library's hold system as extensively as other people do, that is also your choice. Many homeschoolers rely heavily on the library to help make their children's education excellent, as statistics show. Homeschoolers are not unreasonable in saying that a five book limit is too small, especially when some books on hold take a very long time to come in. They are not demanding to go back to the unlimited holds policy. A ceiling is fine. Further more, there have been suggestions to having a special library card that costs money to attain which would allow the patron to place more books on hold than the typical library card allows for. Lastly, you are forgetting that this policy affects classroom teachers across the county. Many teachers use the library's Custom Collection. The Custom Collection is an invaluable resource which allows teachers to gather resources from across the county on every subject thinkable from potty training to George Washington to Valentines Day. This new policy will affect all the children of Allen County (and then some from extending counties who pay to use this system) in one way or another. That is a shame. It's too bad that Fort Wayne has placed such a great need on ANOTHER baseball stadium. It seems to me that our children's education is far more more important (yes, I know the money comes from a different type of tax revenue - but that could be fixed). As a certified teacher, I ask, please stop trying to soil the homeschool community's reputation.