Transplanted Hoosier worries about library's changing focus

chile sent over An Op-Ed by James Solomon Benn who writes about the policies of Indianapolis library head Linda Mielke, causing important books and collections are being sold off. Much of the library's holdings are being replaced by commercial videos and DVD's to attract more patrons. He says this is a horrible practice. "We should never play down to an audience, but rather educate and bring audiences up to a higher level of expectation. The dumbing down of America through our failing schools, the defunding of arts programming and the dismantling of our institutions is a travesty."


Briefly, Indianapolis is building a new Central Library which is now over 40 million dollars in overruns and delays, as well as lawsuits. To compound matters, newly hired Director, Linda Mielke has decided to deconstruct the Library's diverse and historical collection, and replace it with overstuffed shelves of popular material in all formats; to replace experienced librarians with hourly clerks; and reduce frontline support staff while increasing upper level management. Guess what happens with overstuffed shelves? Other material of greater significance get weeded or sold in booksales, never to be replaced, or available.
Director Mielke has now decided the Central library's collection should "float" or be shared with its other 22 branches. Why is Indianapolis spending money on a new library when it appears it will be filled with numerous shelves of entertainmenting material and some pertinent books, that's if they have "floated" there.

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