Response from the Iowa City Public Library

Here is the response I received from the Iowa City Public Library:

“Circulation of materials to persons outside of our direct service area
(Iowa City and contracting areas of rural Johnson County, University
Heights and Hills) is provided through the State Library of Iowa’s Open
Access program. Under this agreement, libraries are permitted to limit
the materials they choose to circulate to persons outside of their
direct service area. At Iowa City Public Library, we do not circulate
equipment to persons outside of our direct service area for a number of
reasons: The equipment is in high demand, the equipment is expensive,
and additional staff time is needed to support the circulation of
equipment (we must inspect every item upon its return to assure it is in
good working condition and all the pieces are intact).

Unfortunately, it is not a simple matter of not wanting to circulate
items to Coralville, but a part of the broader scope of providing
services within the Open Access program. I am sorry that this is not
the answer you wanted.”

Hmm…it sounds to me that’s exactly what it’s about…a simple matter of not wanting to circulate items to Coralville. She says herself that under Open Access, libraries are PERMITTED to limit the materials they choose to circulate. That doesn’t mean they have to; it just means they can. If they don’t want to share their toys, they don’t have to.

She didn’t address the issue of why do the chess pieces circulate for 24 hours anyway? I DON’T WANT TO TAKE THEM HOME; I WANT TO USE THEM THERE! And so do most people who use them, I would think. If I want to borrow a regular chess set and use that in the library, I can do that. The lady at the desk told me so when she told me she couldn’t let me reserve the large pieces.

They didn’t even respond to Preteen’s letter at all. Not only is he a lowly Coralville resident; he’s a Coralville KID. That must make him lower than a second class citizen.

2 thoughts on “Response from the Iowa City Public Library

  1. Sad

    That is so sad. I’m sorry they didn’t respond to your son. In such a literate, educated town, you’d think they’d work a little harder to reach out to their audience.

    What a very strange issue to begin with. I wonder why they are so protective of that set?

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