Mary Heriza's stories will linger
To the editor:
Many people remember the "Story Lady" Mary Heriza who just passed away recently after living here in Baker City for most of her life, raising eight children. Between 1970 and 1990 she was a weekly presence on the local radio KBKR, reading stories to children. It was an honor for me celebrating her life at her funeral, even though I only knew her as a kind, gentle parishioner for the past five years.
Mary wrote two little books, 50 pages each about her memories of 80 to
90 years ago, "Glimpses of Childhood 1911-1924" and "Random
Recollections 1918-2005," both written in good English with a humorous
style.Since they tell us a lot about what life was like in the early
20th century, wouldn't it be a great idea if some of our local schools
would include them in their curriculum? They are short and very easy
reading, but what a legacy if these memories were cherished by our
children, as theyappreciate how tough, how different, yet how simple
life was80 to 90 years ago.
Father Julian Cassar
St. Francis De Sales Cathedral
Library fees, schedules clarified
To the editor:
I appreciate the help with announcing upcoming changes to library
policy, but was disappointed to see the emphasis on fee "boosts,"
several errors and important context missing.
I hope you'll allow me to clarify. Firstly, the proposed changes come
not from me, but are the Sage Library System's standardization of
policies amongst its 46 members. Sage is the consortium that hosts our
catalog and manages interlibrary loan service.The new rules are
intended to decrease confusion and enhance users' library experience as
borrowing continues to increase.
In Baker County libraries, the late book fee hasn't changed for over 20
years.While in 1990, stamps were just 25 cents, postage stamps alone
are now 44 cents and rising again in January 2011.Our new rate of 20
cents per day is based on minimal recovery costs for notices mailed the
second day an item is overdue. We are decreasing the exorbitant $1/day
fee on videos to 20 cents since that high rate is no longer necessary
and creates a barrier to access for many.Videos are a small portion of
our collection (5 percent), but hugely popular (25-30 percent of
checkouts) and increasingly so since the recent closure of Movie
We're unsure how this decrease/increase of late fees will impact our
budget but have planned for a 40 percent reduction this fiscal
year.We'll keep checking our costs and expenses and should the 20-cent
rate prove higher than necessary, we'll reduce it.
Secondly, Monday's article miscommunicated that a three-week loan
applies to all items, including DVD and videos.We've decided to go
with your error.A single loan period with flat 20-cent fine rate for
all items simplifies matters even more and we expect films will
continue to be returned within a week anyway.
I hope this information helps clarify matters.With the convolutions of
the former overdue rate and loan system, it's no wonder you got a few
things wrong. In any event, the Library District's endeavor to provide
outstanding customer service with fiscal responsibility is something we
think everyone can understand.Thanks again for your support.
Director, Baker County Library District