Thursday, December 28, 2006

Library Confidential: Part 2

A few weeks ago a young man had his bike stolen from out front of our Library. The bike was left unlocked near our entrance. We are now discussing having bike locks at our circulation desk. Why should a library provide locks for their patrons' bicycles? Because our patrons hold us responsible for what happens here - good or bad.

Growing up I was told that you don't want to tempt a good person to do something bad. I locked my bicycle, didn't flash my allowance around, avoided dark alleys, and walked with a friend to school. I was taught to avoid being an easy mark. As a library director, I do everything I can to make our Library safe. We have good sightlines, cameras, a well lit parking lot, and an evening monitor. We also have policies. A few weeks ago Steve posted, "Too Young for the Library." Our Library's Unattended Children Policy, which requires children under the age of 13 to be accompanied by an adult, struck a sour note with some of our readers. Many people, including myself, have fond memories of visiting the local library alone as a child. Was the world really safer place back when I was a kid? Or were we all just blissfully unaware? Last week Chicago's CBS 2 News aired another installment of "Library Confidential." This one was entitled, "How Safe Are Our Kids In Public Libraries?" My answer: They are as safe, and no safer, as they are in any public place.

Cindy Fuerst
Library Director


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