Library director says no school books offered

SALISBURY — Rowan Public Library Director Jeff Hall said the school system has not offered school materials to the library in his 26 years in management.

Following controversy over the county pulling school recycling from the county recycling centers, some school officials have said the library won’t take the materials.

But Hall said at least some of the materials could be used in the library’s book sale to benefit library programs.

“We generally don’t add textbooks to the library collection, but we do sell them as part of the book sale because some people like to add them to their collection,” Hall said.

County commissioners pulled a sizable amount of recyclables from the county’s recycling center last week.

Vice Chairman Craig Pierce said the county hopes to show local state delegates that the changing academic curriculum forces schools to dump minimally used supplies.

That meeting is slated for this morning at 10 a.m. at the Rowan County Administrative Building.

Hall said he hopes to hear back from commissioners later in the week to see if the libraries will be able to use the materials in the upcoming library sale.

He said he wasn’t surprised that the schools hadn’t offered the materials, but was surprised by the condition of them.

“I’ll be honest, my assumption is the materials that they would be disposing of would be worn out,” Hall said. “It’s a surprise to me that they would have materials that are new.”

In an email, Environmental Services Director Kathryn Jolly said she contacted Chairman Jim Sides about the recycling after getting complaints from residents about not being able to retrieve the materials, citing a no-scavenging policy.

“I wanted to make the chairman aware that he might be receiving a phone call from a irate citizen in lieu of the County Manager because of his absence,” Jolly wrote in an email to commissioners following Sunday’s Post article. “Please note, we have municipalities, county employees, and citizens that visit our Recycling Center throughout the day and have, and on more than one occasion, have commented to the staff about the quantity/quality of school materials they observe dumped on our warehouse floor awaiting the recycling bailer.”

Jolly said she pitched the ideas to Sides that the county incorporate the school materials in a public recycling event on October 2.

She said parents, tutors, homeschoolers or church groups would then have access to the discarded information.

“I felt this might be the fairest solution to those citizens that wanted this material purged by the schools,” she wrote. “Lastly, this material was picked up, not ‘seized’ by our professional staff, with no charge to the schools, in an orderly fashion and simply placed in a designated area to be reviewed by the staff for the upcoming Special Waste Recycling event.”

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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