Open Letter re: Weeding Issues

To Whom It May Concern:

This recent nonfiction collection weeding situation has damaged public trust, and the only remedy for that is greater transparency in government.  I believe that we, as citizens of Urbana, should be advocating for televised meetings of the Urbana Free Library Board of Trustees. Other city meetings are televised via Urbana Public Television (UPTV,  City council, board of education, park district board of commisionners, and many other local governmental meetings are regularly televised (, to name a few examples.

Apologies are a start; concrete measures to enhance accountability would be a prudent next step to begin to rebuild public trust. Joining the other local governmental groups that televise their meetings on UPTV would be a good-faith effort to address, rather than avoid, public criticisms. I advocate televising the meetings of the The Urbana Free Library Board of Trustees to encourage greater public oversight and more deliberation and care in library communications with and actions on behalf of the public that it serves.

Kate McDowell
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Former Board member, children’s librarian, circulation clerk, and shelver at The Urbana Free Library

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