August 20, 2008

Library decries Fox 6 report: No plan to shut down

On Tuesday, August 19, 2008, Fox 6 News in Milwaukee aired a story about the Racine Public Library, leading off with: "The Racine Public Library may be shut down."

Today, the library has responded, with this statement: "This is completely untrue and a case of irresponsible reporting."

The state standards for public libraries are voluntary. According to John DeBacher, Public Library Administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, "A number of libraries do not meet these voluntary state standards. There is no mechanism to shut public libraries down for not meeting state standards."

Most of the standards indicated in the news report are related to collections of materials. The Racine Public Library does not have the space to shelve the amount of materials that would meet state standards.

For more information, contact Jessica MacPhail, Director, Racine Public Library, by phone at 262.636.9252 or email.

UPDATE, 8/21: The Journal Times reports today: Jim Lemon, vice president/news director at WITI-TV (Channel 6), accepted responsibility for the mistake and planned to run a correction on the evening news Wednesday. “We made an error, which we’re going to correct. It was an internal communication error between an editor and a reporter,” Lemon said. “We’re certainly not in the business of putting out inaccurate information.”

I didn't watch the newscast, but a check of Fox 6's website this morning shows two links to Tuesday's original story, and no mention of any correction: Racine's only library doesn't meet standards.


  1. Jessica, we support you and the staff unequivocally. You have done an amazing job given dwindling resources. Your record of collaboration and innovation speaks for itself. The library is something about which we Racinians should be exceedingly proud.

  2. The Racine Public Library is a very rocking place

  3. What started all this hoopla anyway???????

  4. In this electronic climate, what does it matter how many books are on a shelf? The Racine Library belongs to the Share Network. They will get pretty much any material for you that you want from all over SE Wisconsin.

    Park your car or sit outside the library. See how many patrons come and go with materials in hand. Then make up your mind whether this is important to our city. Our library is enriching lives in Racine. Shame on Fox 6 for reporting incorrect facts.

  5. Jessica started this by running to the media about needing more budget money for the library.

  6. funny that the say the library is too small to meet requirements when they could have built the library large enough during the last renivation.

    i say take the library down, it's not good for anything aside from surfing porn.