[NFBMO] FW: Letter of Concern about Wolfner Library

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 16 19:47:12 UTC 2022

I share with you a response that I have gotten and note that it is quite


From: Westphal, Robin <Robin.Westphal at sos.mo.gov> 
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2022 11:50 AM
To: 'gwunder at earthlink.net' <gwunder at earthlink.net>;
creatingcommonground at outlook.com
Subject: RE: Letter of Concern about Wolfner Library


Good morning Gary and Peter-

Thank you for your email. We take your concerns very seriously.  I am the
director of Wolfner and have a great team of managers working with me to
make sure all of Wolfner's patrons, present and future, are served with the
greatest degree of prompt and professional customer service. I have almost
20 years of library director experience and have served as state librarian
since 2018. 

Since the switch to the Duplication on Demand process of providing materials
to our patrons, we have personally contacted all patrons that we provide
cartridges to in order to explain the process. Duplication on Demand has
impacted the workload of our circulation department which has allowed for
crossing training of staff so that we now, for the first time, have a person
dedicated to entering new applications every day. This is an improvement
over how applications have been processed in the past. 

Currently, we are short one reader's advisor because a current reader
advisor has been promoted to another position within Wolfner. The position
is currently posted and we hope to have it filled by the end of the month.
We pay very close attention to the number of calls reader advisor's receive
and if needed can add reader advisors position. While it is true that we
have transitioned to a new phone system and occasionally patrons do get sent
to voicemail, this was also the case when patrons were assigned to readers
advisors by the letter their last name started with. 

Gary, I take your concerns very seriously and welcome a personal phone call,
if you'd like. Also, please know that your comments will be discussed at the
Wolfner Advisory Council meeting on Friday.

My best,



Robin Westphal

Missouri State Library

600 W. Main St.

Jefferson City, MO  65101







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


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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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