Rebuttal of the statements made by Dottie B. McFarland


I visited the Library yesterday with the express purpose of checking out the facilities. The library that Ms. McFarland described as “an ugly albatross,” “a garish placement of our nation’s patriotic colors, ” “a travesty of our patriotic colors put to such a shameful use,” “a cheap mockery of patriotic spirit,” “to deface a public building with a display of patriotism,” “volumes of knowledge reduced to little more than a tacky billboard,” and “to use our source of written knowledge for cheap propaganda.”

I was not “saddened and ashamed of this grand building” as Ms. McFarland claims to be. She seems to be reading her own agenda into the bands of red and blue on the columns at the entrance. They were not chosen for “patriotic” reasons, nor are they the correct shade to be American flag colors.

I did observe a building that is pleasing and inviting. The main library space has improved lighting, new carpeting, refinished tile floors, an enclosed computer lab, and freshly painted walls. Most importantly, I saw a dedicated director and his staff. It’s not the color of the carpet, the walls, or a little concrete on the front of the building; it’s the service we receive from the fine people who are a part of the library.

I urge the residents of Champaign County to give Ms. McFarland’s demands the momentary consideration they are due. And then please continue to support our fine Champaign County Library Board, its director and the staff for their many years of excellent service provided for the patrons, young and old.

I want it on record that I am disgusted with people who make cheap shot remarks. They are an insult to the library supporters and patrons.

Thomas W. Burkholder

Urbana