Letters to the Editor

Story omitted a key question

A report by Angela Hill for the San Jose Mercury News (republished Nov. 19 by the Ashland Daily Tidings) omits an important question.

Why, when history and English teacher Annie Hatch "often" sees students use inaccurate sources or "run wild" with a theory that they found presented as fact, doesn't Hatch educate her students about resources available through their school and public libraries? Why isn't her class making use of curated databases or eBooks available through libraries' increasingly digital collections?

(And yes, why don't these students continue to rely on physical books from the library?) Because there is so much information on the Internet, students (and adults) need to ask tough questions about its credibility and bias. And who better than trained library professionals to empower them as savvy consumers?

A sidebar article on the website of the San Jose Mercury News emphasizes that reference librarians' work is redefined but continues to be relevant: digitizing analog documents and curating "born digital" collections in their "role to preserve the history of humanity, no matter what the medium."

Cynthia Parkhill


Thanks for climate change commentary

Thank you so much for printing the commentary, "Monitoring a climate epidemic" (Nov. 19, 2013) by Adam Sobel and Naomi Oreskes. This is complex stuff and I appreciate the Tidings and the Tribune's continued effort in publicizing this global and local problem.

It helps to remember that the difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is the conditions of the atmosphere over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time (like 20-30 years). When we talk about climate change, we talk about changes in long-term averages of daily weather.

Locally, children hear stories from their parents and grandparents about how snow was piled high, and all those "snow days" there used to be when the kids got to sled and have fun when school was canceled. Children in Southern Oregon today haven't experienced those kinds of snow-packed winters. I recently heard that years ago, the city of Medford sold much of its snow removal equipment to a town in Nebraska because "they just didn't need it anymore!"

Susan Bizeau


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