Letter: ‘Public’ library not overly welcoming
I am writing about my concerns with the Mathews Memorial Library.
This summer, I retained a tutor for my daughter. She is 12 years old and the tutor is a retired teacher. After some discussion, we decided to meet at the "public" library, providing a comfortable environment for both of them since they were strangers. At their first meeting, the tutor was told they didn’t have anywhere for them to sit and study, so he took a seat at one of the tables by the window and waited, but was told these tables are for people who have laptops, and they only needed pencil and paper.
The second week, they were allowed to use the conference room, but were told that it wouldn’t always be available because of meetings. O.K., that’s understandable.
The third week, the A/C was broken and the librarian sent them to the loft upstairs, most likely the hottest place in the library.
After that experience, we agreed to make other arrangements. The tutor and my daughter felt most unwelcome at the "public" library. They felt unwelcome due to the attitude and actions of the librarian, Bette Dillehay.
It’s hard to believe that there was not a spot in which to study anywhere in a public library. All they needed was a comfortable meeting space in public.
After a call to the county administrator’s office for some assistance, I was told to speak with Mrs. Dillehay to try to resolve this matter. Again, she explained that there wasn’t anywhere "to put them." But she never told them they couldn’t use the library. Well, what’s the difference?
Since then, my daughter has been welcomed to the tutor’s home and some weeks they meet at my business on the Island. We are most grateful for his persistence in helping my daughter.
We are so looking forward to the addition to the library, which I’ve been told will have the arrangements for these type of problems. And, might I add, hopefully a librarian that welcomes all people with literacy needs. Especially one who likes children!