Petition calls out Allen County Public Library for reportedly purging books

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) — A petition circulating online is calling out the leadership of the Allen County Public Library.

The petition claims the library is purging books more than ever before, shredding some plus selling off or donating others.

We took those concerns straight to the library’s community engagement manager who told us “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,” Stephanny 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. This is part of an ethics policy library employees are required to sign.

Numbers from the state show the library had about 1.4-million fewer books in 2017 than it did just three years prior. Library leaders dispute that statistic.

Kaitlyn Kendall

Kaitlyn Kendall

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