Elizabeth Henderson

August 1, 2007

As of this fall, IU students will face many changes, ranging from new courses to another incoming freshman class. But there is another modification in store for students, faculty and staff this September - Barnes & Noble is running all campus bookstores.

The decision to privatize bookstores on all seven IU-administered campuses was made last May by university President Adam Herbert, despite concerns voiced by Mayor Mark Kruzan, along with members of the Monroe County Council and the Bloomington City Council.

Many IU employees and community members also worry about the outsourcing of bookstore services. Concerns range from possible increased prices, a lack of job stability for bookstore staffers and the overall trend toward outsourcing nonacademic services provided by the school.

July 18, 2007

Deborah Mayer, who was fired in 2003 from her probationary teaching position at Clear Creek Elementary School for telling students that she "honked for peace" when she saw anti-war signs downtown, recently attended the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) conference in Washington, D.C.

She did not, however, attend any of the thought-provoking workshops detailed on the AFT Web site. Instead, she decided to grapple with the challenges facing educators across the United States in a slightly different way - by meeting with small groups of teachers between sessions.

Two years ago, her case was the focus of national attention, garnering the support of high-profile peace advocates such as Cindy Sheehan and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. But now, four years after her struggle for the recognition of her First Amendment rights began, Mayer is forced to engage with teachers during break time.

The AFT denied her request to speak directly to teachers attending the conference.

July 18, 2007

Planned renovation of the Monroe County Public Library's second floor drew criticism at the July 11 Board of Trustees work session attended by about 40 citizens.

The renovations, estimated to cost more than $500,000, was pushed to the top of the agenda by board member Randy Paul.

The plan would include relocating the audio visual department to the second floor, installing new furniture and carpets, improving the Kirkwood entrance, replacing the circulation desk with an ergonomic one and incorporating self-checkouts in more user-friendly ways.

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