Children's Library Closure

A Letter to the County Council President

Monday, February 25, 1991

Isiah Leggett, County Council President
Stella Werner Office Building
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850

Dear Mr. Leggett,

I am writing today to protest the proposed closing of the Noyes Children's Library. I realize that the tax shortfall in the county will require all of us to re-evaluate what we can afford to do and what we can afford to do without. I strongly urge you to avoid cutting any of the services that impact directly on county residents.

The Noyes Library is the only facility in the county that caters almost exclusively to the needs of children. I know that it can be argued that the children's sections of any of the other branches in the library system also deliver the same services as the Noyes branch does --- but there are major differences in the quality of that service.

At most of the Montgomery County libraries, the children's sections are a drop off point for parents and adult caregivers. While the parent browses in the adult sections of the library, the children mark time at one of the tables in the kid's section. Some parents seem to use the libraries as caregivers for children who would otherwise be home alone, as well. The major effect of this practice is that the children's librarians at every branch I have visited --- except Noyes -- are somewhat harried, impatient and not particularly responsive to children's questions.

In other words, the conditions at other libraries have caused me to value more and more the library and the librarians at the Noyes branch. The materials collection is not as extensive as can be found at many of the other libraries, that is true, but there are amenities there that cannot be found elsewhere --- a peaceful atmosphere that really puts the children at ease; a well informed and always courteous staff; and an idiosyncratic collection that contains materials that span almost as many years as the library does.

I hope the Noyes Children's Library is preserved for a long, long while and treasured for the jewel that it is.

Thank you for your time and trouble,

Paulette Dickerson

Paulette Dickerson P.O. Box 598 Kensington, MD. 20895-0598
Private Citizen / Library Advocate

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