Our view: Lowdown on the library

Some of the Moffat County Libraries' board of directors questioned problems regarding Internet usage at the library branches in Moffat County until reading about it in the Daily Press on Monday.

Board members quizzed Moffat County Libraries director Donna Watkins about issues she and her staff were facing regarding this matter at Monday's board meeting.

Why is the board of directors not aware of this problem? Why was the board not aware that police had been called three times to the Craig branch? That is part of the problem, and thereby part of the solution.

Staff at the libraries should not be in charge of setting policy, such as the Internet policy on who gets the green light to broader access and who does not. The board of directors for the libraries should be the leaders in making that decision.

It cannot be a decision that is dealt with lightly, especially when dealing with regulating usage of public property by private citizens, who might access information or graphics that could potentially adversely affect other users in a public facility.

Regulating usage of the Internet on library computers is apparently common at libraries, specifically the libraries in Moffat County, Hayden and Meeker. Although policies are similar in all three aforementioned organizations, it seems there are more problems being had at the Craig branch, with few or no problems experienced in Meeker.

The Meeker library management attributes that to having consistent rules in place and enforcing them. We suggest that improvements with regards to the guidelines and implementing an Internet user agreement, as used in Meeker.

Improvements in customer service will go along away to reduce the amount of time spent on these issues, as well. Specifically, it seems as though the library hours are restrictive. Yesterday, as is the case every Tuesday after a library board meeting, the library was closed for training.

At times, it seems that the library is closed four to five days a month, not including its scheduled day of being closed, Sunday. A resident who works from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. can conceivably only use the library on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and Saturday, in the event that works within their schedule.

The Moffat County Libraries are dealing with a declining clientele these days, numbers are down and if changes are not made, we believe that number will continue to slide.

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