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A library's late-books problem, school board meetings, a Northport show and more

A patron peruses books at the Cutchogue-New Suffolk

A patron peruses books at the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Free Library in Cutchogue. Long Island libraries are reconsidering fines. Credit: Heather Walsh

How to solve library late-books problem

 This is what the world has come to — people becoming so lazy and irresponsible that they don’t return books that the library is nice enough to lend out for free and, even worse, don’t want to pay the late fees they incur — if they bring back the book at all ["Libraries rethinking fees," News, Oct. 11].

You know how to solve this problem? Start a new library card program in which a family has to put a credit or debit card on file when parents get library cards for themselves or their kids. If they don’t return books on time, they get charged the appropriate amount when they do.

After being 30 days late, they get charged the price of the book and can keep it. This way, the library can get reimbursed for missing books.

Maybe people will become less lazy and more responsible. It’s pathetic that this is how parents are teaching their kids today.  

— Richard Koch, Copiague

Perhaps I am just old, or perhaps my opinion is influenced by my having had a part-time library job in high school and being a page in the New York Public Library system, but the elimination of late fees for library items not returned on time eliminates something much more important — personal responsibility. I’m sure if the late returners had a rental car, they’d figure a way to get that back on time.

Libraries have drop-off slots so items can be returned even if the building is closed. And what about the lack of respect it shows to fellow library users who would like the book that you find too much of a burden to return? Sorry, but imposing financial penalties is just "fine" with me.

— Arthur M. Shatz, Oakland Gardens

Parents have right to show disapproval

Parents are being threatened for speaking up and expressing displeasure with some school board decisions ["School board fights drown healthy debate," Opinion, Oct. 8]. Parents pay school taxes as well as vote for those seeking positions on school boards. Those elected represent every family in the district. They work for us, not the other way around. Parents have the right to express disapproval of board decisions. School boards must present programs they are considering before putting them into the curriculum.

— Charles Goldberg, Wantagh

Northport show should’ve gone on

The John W. Engeman Theater should not have canceled any performance of "Smokey Joe’s Cafe" because a single racist on the street said something hurtful to an actor in the show a block away from the theater after a matinee ["Racist incident outside theater," News, Oct. 12]. There’s no difference in that outrage than if the same person said the same thing to any person on the street, actor in a show or not.

Canceling the show and depriving the public of entertainment in these difficult times, or the actors refusing to perform, sends the wrong message to racists. It gives them power, the opposite of what should be happening. The show must always go on.

— Michael Hertz, Woodbury

Guilty, rich dads could help other students

If wealthy parents Gamal Abdelaziz and John Wilson, found guilty of fraud and bribery for trying to buy their kids’ way into colleges as athletic recruits, were forced to pay a full four-year scholarship for a deserving student in addition to  court fines, cheating would have at least some positive results ["2 dads convicted in college bribery scandal," News, Oct. 9].

— Virginia Brindisi, St. James

Nets’ Irving is not irreplaceable player

I agree with a reader about Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving ["Stop vax charade of hiding player status," Letters, Oct. 12].

Why should Irving be given special privileges? Is he so totally irreplaceable? Is he the greatest of all time? I think not. I am sure another player can take his place — maybe someone who is vaccinated and therefore cares to protect himself and his teammates. 

— Robin Deissler, Merrick

If Kyrie Irving truly wants to be a "voice for the voiceless," he should donate whatever salary he gets for not playing this season to help those who have lost their jobs due to vaccine mandates.

By not doing so and not speaking up for his beliefs, all he is doing is pocketing half of his salary (for road games) for doing nothing.

— Lew Cohen, Roslyn Heights

Gruden has been in the wrong business

Former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden is a racist ["Gruden knew he couldn’t remain as Raiders coach," Sports, Oct. 13]? A misogynist? A homophobe?

In that case, he has a future as a hip-hop rapper.

— John Fallon, Kings Park