[Ohio-talk] Fw: position paper re closing cincy librar fortheblindy

Deborah Kendrick dkkendrick at earthlink.net
Sat May 23 18:32:44 UTC 2009

Sadly, my attitude was much like the one you have expressed in this email 
until recently, when I got a much clearer picture of the situation.
Although there are only three states with two regional libraries, many 
states have several subregionals -- thus several satelite locations from 
which books are mailed.
Like you, my first reaction was that I wasn't borrowing cassettes any more 
anyway.  I now feel very ashamed of that reaction.  It was complacency and 
perhaps selfishness.  My guess is that less than 5 percent of those served 
in Ohio know how to download books, maybe fewer.  There are 10,000 served by 
Cleveland, 5,500 by Cincinnati.  Thus, Cleveland will be facing a 50 percent 
increase in the numbers to be served.  Meanwhile, they have a staff of 13. 
Steve Prine, NLS staff, says that a staff of 42 would meet the NLS standard! 
Thus, they are operating already at 38 percent of the NLS standard.  Barbara 
Mates says they hope to be able to increase staff to 16.
People are already reporting a high number of broken Cleveland is not able 
toinsepct books.  One older person here reported recently that she received 
a book with a note inside -- written by the previous borrow to library staff 
regarding the defective book enclosed.

Yes, you did talk to us in November.  And I called. Donna Foust has never 
been particularly warm or forthcoming with information and when I called, 
she gave me the same vague notion that it was a "done deal".
It wasn't.
There was $535,000 that would have been allocated to Cincinnati this year 
had Kim Fender requested it -- but she didn't.
That's the money that we are asking be reassigned.
Please rethink your position  on this.  If you believe it is too little, too 
late, none of our members will try to help.
This merger will significantly diminish the service to Cincinnati, Dayton, 
and other southern Ohio areas.
Yes, I download my books and don't borrow cassettes any more.  But what 
about all of those older people who don't even know what download means? 
And what about all the newly blind people who don't have the resources to 
buy Victor Streams?
And yes, we will eventually be getting new NLS players.  And how in the 
world are 15,000 patrons going to learn how to use them when there is only 
one staff of 13-16 people, all of them already overwhelmed, to explain to 
I truly apologize for the length of this missive, but I frimly believe we 
*DO* have a chance if the blind of Ohio start contacting state senators on 
Tuesday and don't stop until the week is out!  Without your encouragement, 
that's not likely to happen.

Thanks for listening,
- Original Message ----- 
From: "Barbara Pierce" <bbpierce at pobox.com>
To: "'NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List'" <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2009 8:21 AM
Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] Fw: position paper re closing cincy librar 

In my opinion it is far too late to do anything about the closing Cincinnati
Library. We talked about this likelihood last fall. I notified people served
by the Cincinnati Library and suggested then that you all might mobilize
protest about losing service, but I rather gathered that there was little
interest among patrons of that facility. In fact, most states have only one
library to serve the entire state, yet people seem to be served anyway.
Particularly now that many of us are downloading our own books, it may be a
reasonable sacrifice for blind Ohioans to make in these tough times to drop
back to one library. It is pretty clear that, want the change or not, we are
going to get it. The staff at the Cincinnati library has already been cut
back, and Donna Fouste has expressed no interest in trying to save those
jobs. Of course people can do what they like in trying to organize
something, but I see little point in trying at this late date and it might
harm our effort to preserve NEWSLINE in the Senate.


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