FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — A petition is circulating online aiming to stop the Allen County Public Library from purging books from its collections.
The petition says the library is purging more books than ever before—shredding some books and selling or donating others.
Fort Wayne’s NBC took those concerns straight to the library’s Community Engagement Manager, Stephanny Smith, who said “de-selecting” books is just part of how libraries do business.
“If a book is on the main floors and it hasn’t circulated 5 years, it might be taken out of the collection,” Smith said. “If it’s downstairs, we have 2 floors of storage underneath us right now. If it hasn’t circulated in 10 years from storage, it might be a candidate for being taken out of the collection.”
Library leaders say they are being open and transparent about the process.
But Kim Fengolio, a former full-time employee at the Allen County Public Library who is circulating the online petition, points to what she calls a gag order. The gag order is part of an ethics policy library employees are required to sign.
Numbers from the state show the library had about 1.4-million less books in 2017 than it did just three years prior. Library leaders dispute that statistic.