[NFBMO] FW: Letter of Concern about Wolfner Library

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 16 01:01:17 UTC 2022



From: Gary Wunder <gwunder at earthlink.net> 
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2022 8:01 PM
To: 'Robin.westphal at sos.mo.gov' <Robin.westphal at sos.mo.gov>;
'creatingcommonground at outlook.com' <creatingcommonground at outlook.com>
Subject: Letter of Concern about Wolfner Library


The Columbia chapter of the National Federation of the Blind rights as a
result of our concern about several issues at our primary library for the
blind in the state. We understand that the Wolfner Memorial Library will no
longer have a director and note that this has been done without any
consultation with blind people through their representative consumer groups.
Unless we have been badly misinformed, it seems to us that the director has
been kept very busy managing the library, conducting outreach, and seeing
that Missouri got its fair share of federal benefits springing from the
Library of Congress. This sounds like a rather significant change that at
the least we should have been consulted about.


It is also our understanding that the library is short of reader advisors.
This is very evident to those of us who have been longtime users, and in
recent times we have suffered through waits that we have never encountered
in half a century of being served by the library both when it was in St.
Louis and in Jefferson City. We have always been able to get in touch with a
reader advisor, but now we are getting voicemail, and it sometimes takes up
to two days to get calls returned. 


Our understanding also is that referrals to the library are taking several
months to process, and this is of tremendous concern. Often if we do not
serve blind people close to the onset of blindness, the chances that they
will adjust to it well are significantly diminished. Learning that they can
still have a way to read is an important part of letting them know that
blindness does not mean they are broken human beings who will forever be
deprived of information but simply that they will get material in a
different way. Our Wolfner library is a vital cog in this wheel.


Although this letter is written with concern, we have the ability to listen
and understand. Perhaps you will present to us a side we have not
considered, or perhaps this letter will assist you in ensuring that Wolfner
remains properly run and staffed.




Gary Wunder, President

National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, Columbia chapter


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