The South Bay section on July 7 featured an article about parents who exploit the public libraries as day-care centers. The article mentions many instances when either desperate or negligent parents leave their children to be cared for by the library staff. This is a lamentable situation. The library staff and the libraries should not be abused in this manner.
However, I'm equally concerned about how the Los Angeles Times has exploited my daughter and the other children that were photographed during children's story time at the Hawthorne Library. My wife and the other parents, who were there but not shown in the photograph, had no idea that the pictures taken by Harry Chase of The Times were to be used for this article. They assumed that the photos would be used to extol the many fine children's programs that the Los Angeles County libraries offer. They had no idea that their children would be used to illustrate how libraries are abused.
If The Times strives for accuracy and truth, it should not deceive its readership by omitting or altering the facts. The facts in this case are that those children listening raptly to the librarian's story were accompanied by their parents. The photograph has no true association with the featured article. Its use is an insult to the conscientious parents who use the library responsibly.
JAMES R. and KATHY H. QUESENBERRY
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Times did not mean to imply that the children in the photo were part of the problem. The caption noted that the children were attending "one of the library's regular children's programs," which also were mentioned in the story.