Mailbag: Library deserves some coverage

On Tuesday evening, at the Newport Beach City Council meeting, representatives of the Friends of the Library, Newport Beach, presented a check for $240,800 to the Newport Beach Main Library. This check represents the work of 15,000 volunteer hours this past year in the used bookstore inside the main library on Avocado Avenue in Newport Beach. From our membership of over 1,000, more than 100volunteers work seven days a week to raise funds to support our library and make sure that it continues to be one of the top libraries in the United States.

All week I have been looking for an article or even small mention of this wonderful event and gift to our library, but have found absolutely nothing. You seem to have plenty of space to tell us about murderers, drunk drivers, rapists, bad politicians, overly expensive restaurants and now even the unnecessary horoscopes, but not one word about these local residents doing their best for their citizens and library. This library has over 2,000,000 patrons a year, and our organization works so hard to help the library to provide the books and materials that they desire and need.

You just might want to show up on Monday, Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. at the library in the Bamboo Courtyard, where the Board of Library Trustees and Library Staff will be honoring and thanking the volunteers for their dedication with coffee and cake. Maybe you could find a small corner somewhere in your newspaper to mention this.

Wendy Frankel

Newport Beach

Editor's Note: Wendy Frankel is a board member of Friends of the Library, Newport Beach.

Students first; college athletes, maybe never

I couldn't believe what I was reading and had no idea that a proposal for a second probationary period for high school athletes was being considered ("2 strikes for 'below average,'" Sept. 16). Are you kidding me? What is our school board thinking?

In the phrase "student-athlete," the word student appears first for a reason. Being an athlete is a privilege, not a right. The emphasis in going to school is to be a student with the intention to learn not to skirt around learning in order to play sports.

I believe this second probationary period will just give the "reluctant learners" a new avenue not to succeed for an entire additional quarter. This could affect their ability to graduate if, for two quarters, they become credit deficient. Athletics has always been a motivation for these individuals to keep their grades up. Now we are giving them a reason not to do so. It isn't difficult to maintain a 2.0 grade-point average in high school with effort and determination.

To suggest that a second probationary period could lead to a career in professional sports is absurd. Only a small percentage of high school athletes ever compete at the collegiate level. An even smaller percentage make it to the professional ranks. Therefore, students need to be motivated to learn. They need to prepare themselves for the real world and not some "pipe dream" of becoming a professional athlete.

I have coached football in the district for 20 years. It has been my experience that the kid that lets down in the classroom often time is the player that lets you down on the field. We have some great coaches in the district and I think they all know that. Furthermore, by giving our student-athletes this second probationary period, we are letting our kids down and setting them up for failure.

Kent M. Paul

Costa Mesa

Editor's Note: Kent M. Paul is a teacher at Costa Mesa High School.

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