A number of school librarians and teachers raised concerns at the Racine Unified School Board meeting Monday that the district had gone too far in weeding out books. School officials said the district normally weeds out books.
Terry, who was told there would be 11,000 books, tried to find a charity to accept the books, but space was either an issue or the books weren’t the appropriate reading level, he said.
Terry is also on the boards of the Racine Public Library and the Racine Public Library Foundation.
“Friends (of the Racine Public Library) doesn’t have room for that many books, my next call was to the new COP Houses little libraries, but I was told that they have been taken care of because they were working with Racine Unified,” Terry said, adding that he also spoke to officials with the Cops’n Kids program, but the books Terry had would not have been the appropriate reading level.
“I’m certainly not trying to remove any books from schools. But, having been told they were being discarded, I wanted to do something to make sure the books weren’t simply thrown out or recycled,” Terry said.
A friend of Terry’s told him about the Rotary Club’s Books for the World program, which collects used books from school and public libraries around the country and takes them to third world countries in southern Africa.
Terry expected to pick up the books on Monday, but district officials told Terry today to hold off on picking them up.
“I’m not sure if they’re re-evaluating things or what,” Terry said.
Stacy Tapp, a spokesperson for Racine Unified School District, confirmed that Terry was supposed to get the books and that the district did ask Terry to hold off on picking up the books.
Terry believes that the district will still allow the books to be donated, unless they re-shelve them.
“I’m looking at every avenue possible to keep as many of these books local as possible. RUSD officials have been extremely cooperative in helping me find a new home for these books.