On April 15, the La Valle Public Library Board hand-picked village resident Kristin Kowalke to replace outgoing town resident Pegg Conderman.

This, in itself, would not be newsworthy, if not for the consequence that the replacement appointee effectively halves the Town of La Valle's representation on the Library Board.

When I, a town resident who regularly observes La Valle Library Board meetings, objected to this diminishing of town representation, Library Board chair Becky Blinston explained that the Library Board may allow up-to two seats be held by town residents; but ultimately, it is not obliged.

However, the underlying issue at-hand is that appointment of too many village residents results in a Library Board that is controlled by a tight coterie of village socialites.

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The problem is that this reflects neither the social diversity nor the geographical composition of library users. The average library patron is not necessarily a community pillar, and most patrons actually reside outside the village.

Limiting participation on the Library Board to only residents within the village clique severely curtails the library's capacity to represent patrons from among its outlying service area, especially marginal community members.

Joe Ohler, La Valle

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