We’ll trust commissioners on library controversy

To the Editor:

Mr. Dan Kowal’s second letter to the editor  (April 12 edition of The Smoky Mountain News) is a doubling-down on the insults and distortions of his previous letter and requires a response. I’m glad he spoke with the Macon and Jackson librarians, but their account is only one side of the story. Ms. Hardison has only been the Macon librarian for about two months, and she was not involved in this controversy or personally knowledgeable about the vast majority of what occurred. Most of our dealings have been with the previous Macon head librarian and former FRL Director, Karen Wallace, and the newly-appointed director, Tracy Fitzmaurice.

Librarians are a reader’s best friend

To the Editor: 

The first librarian that I remember was Sadie Luck, a grandmotherly type who dispensed Kleenex and wiped noses in a small room near the Lloyd Hotel in Sylva. I was still in the elementary grades, and I usually entered with several of my peers. Sadie knew us all. 

Work together, resolve library controversy

To the Editor: 

I was wrong in my previous letter (“Use common sense with library controversy,” April 5, SMN). The library has not been stonewalling the concerned citizens. After publication of my previous letter about our library, I spoke with the directors of the Macon and Jackson county libraries. 

Use common sense with library controversy

To the Editor: 

As a parent, as a teacher of elementary children and as a former member of the Macon County Library Board, I have some thoughts about the library controversy

Macon residents, commissioner float withdrawing from Fontana Regional Library

What started as a group of citizens concerned about certain LGBTQ books in the Macon County Library has turned into an effort to pull the library from the Fontana Regional Library system, a move that could get very complicated and very expensive, very quickly.

When they come for the librarians …

As Americans, we’re banning a lot of books these days, perhaps 1,650 in the past year, censoring others, and coming after librarians and teachers. In North Carolina, too, at least six attempts have occurred statewide and here in the mountains, one in Waynesville and another in Macon County.

HCAE proposes policy changes to review of parental complaints

Haywood County Association of Educators has put forth suggested amendments to the school board policy regarding parental inspection of and objection to instructional materials.

Bestselling author of ‘Dear Martin’
 comes to Waynesville

Almost everyone wants the best for themselves, the people they love, the acquaintances they encounter and even the billions of people on this earth they will never meet.

Careless book banning is seldom a good idea

Removing the book “Dear Martin” from a 10th-grade English class at Tuscola High School likely didn’t prevent students in that class from having a deep, meaningful discussion about race in America and their own attitudes about this issue. Hopefully the teacher found some other book that inspired students to have this kind of discussion, because it’s one today’s young Americans need.

What lesson does censorship teach our children?

When I learned of the removal of the book “Dear Martin” from an English II class at Tuscola High School, my first thoughts were of my daughter’s English teachers who created opportunities for the students to read texts that made them think. They engaged in discussions about important topics and real-world issues and were asked to critically analyze different perspectives and experiences. My often-reluctant reader was motivated and inspired. High-performing schools allow for intellectual discussion and debate, and I am grateful her Tuscola teachers provided these opportunities.

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