Letter: Letter to the Editor Janet Hensen


I would like to respond to guest columnist Mark Franke’s comments about “Strange, unwelcoming things happening at the library.”

This article appeared in the Tribune on Dec. 27. It was also on the Tribtown website, but was taken down from the site that day.

I don’t know where Mr. Franke uses the library, but it is not Jackson County.

I work at the Jackson County Public Library as the information services manager at the Seymour Library and would like to clarify what our library offers.

The Jackson County Public Library does have a limit on the number of holds a patron can place. Earlier this year it was raised from 20 items to 30. Patrons are allowed to have up to 100 items checked out at a time. Because we are part of the Evergreen Indiana Consortium, items that can be placed on hold may belong to our library or any of the 125+ libraries in the consortium.

There are also limits on the items and holds that are available for the ebooks and digital audiobooks offered to our patrons for free with their library card through OverDrive and hoopla. When we started using OverDrive, the limit was 5 items checked out and 5 on hold. A few years ago, OverDrive changed the limits to 10 items checked out and 10 on hold. They also made a much friendlier app called Libby. There are no holds ever on hoopla because everything streams immediately, although checkouts on hoopla are limited to 10 per month.

Any limits set are not intended to restrict homeschoolers or any other group. We love to help homeschoolers and teachers get the materials they need for their students and offer them the option to check out a collection of books. See myjclibrary.org/parents-and-teachers-info/ for more information about this service.

Yes, like Mr. Franke’s library, we have also eliminated some of the physical books from our library. Since we have the option to borrow them from other Evergreen Libraries and the availability to read them digitally, we are able to use that space for other books.

If someone wants to place holds from home through Evergreen Indiana, they do need their card number and password, but a password is easily set by coming into the library and speaking to anyone at a service desk. We are also happy to assist patrons in placing holds either in person or over the phone.

I am sorry that Mr. Franke has had these problems with his library. But, those are not problems that you will have with the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour, Crothersville or Medora, or through our Discovery Bus.

Janet Hensen,

information services manager with the Jackson County Public Library

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