LETTERS: More than ever, public schools need librarians

Children need to learn not only to read but also to distinguish facts from falsehoods, a skill librarians teach.

SHARE LETTERS: More than ever, public schools need librarians

CPS used to require that every school have a librarian — two in the high schools, in fact — but that requirement was ended long ago, writes a Sun-Times reader.

Michelle Lohmann/Photograp

As a former Chicago Public Schools librarian whose position was “eliminated” in 2013, I was gratified to read Gina Caneva’s opinion piece detailing the lack of school libraries and certified librarians in CPS and all over Illinois and the rest of the country.

My school, Lane Tech, hasn’t had a librarian for seven years, just two clerks. Sadly, our union has always let us down, and our numbers have fallen steadily for the past 25 years. CPS used to require that every school have a librarian — two in the high schools, in fact — but that requirement was ended long ago.

I hope your readers will lobby their school boards, local school councils and state legislatures to fully fund libraries and hire degreed, certified librarians to run them. Now, more than ever, children not only need to learn to read and love reading; they need to learn to distinguish facts from falsehoods, one of the many skills librarians teach.

Pam Kane, Albany Park

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

‘Killing of black men no longer ignored’

On Sunday, I was angry and hurt as I watched the Walgreens at 79th Street and Racine Avenue get emptied out in from of my eyes. I remembered how we fought for years to bring that Walgreens into the community, and now I wondered about its future. 

Then, On Sunday night, I watched a report on CNN about all the deaths of black men over the last few years and how nothing was done, and I spoke with a friend, Spike Lee, and was reminded how and why all this started. 

What has taken place in Chicago and around the nation in the last three days didn’t begin in a vacuum. It was birthed in the refusal of a nation to take responsibility for the consistent murdering of black men and boys. Colin Kaepernick, the football player who famously took a knee, tried to tell America in a peaceful manner to stop it and change, but our nation demonized and ignored him. 

While much of the focus of news reports these last few days has been on broken glass and looting, 24 people were killed and another 66 were wounded in Chicago this weekend, the most deadly weekend of this year. 

This past weekend said to America that the killing of black men no longer will be ignored. Is she ready to listen?

Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, pastor
The Faith Community of Saint Sabina

A second vicious virus

It would be bad enough if we had to deal with just one vicious virus, the COVID 19 pandemic. But, in the last few years, hate has been unleashed as a second virus among us. It carries a backlash of animosity, and it’s a retaliation for this nation having allowed an African American to occupy the White House.

Social networking, as wonderful as the new technology is, has allowed the hate-filled few to spread their venom, lies and conspiracy theories. In just hours, these sick individuals can organize flag-waving demonstrations with hate-filled rhetoric and anti-anything signs. It is an old old virus, hiding in our systems, come out to haunt us once again.

Bottled up periodically, this deep racist longing for a white America has resurfaced — cocky, open, aggressive and ultimately a serious danger to life and liberty. Its latest expression is seen in the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

Americans, let us counter this virus by revealing and demonstrating a better America.

Martin Deppe, Ravenswood Manor

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