Stone digs into library policies

posted by Mike on July 15th, 2006

The Telegram’s Matt Stone is digging into the Worcester Public Library’s stupid lending practices that have gotten it sued.

No bombshells in these reports, but it’s good to see that investigations are in progress. Mr Stone has looked at lending policies of other Massachusetts libraries, and the sloppiness of the Worcester library’s policy.

One sentence I noticed in the most recent article:

Social service agencies have largely been satisfied with the policy, [head librarian] Ms. Johnson said.

Mr Stone notes that at least two of the agencies affected by the policy had no idea it existed.

The Catholic Worker shelter, also on the list, was never contacted about the policy, either before or after it was enacted, as far as anyone there remembers.

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2 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On July 18, 2006 at 08:08 mary said:

    I don’t see anything wrong with limiting the number of items a person living in shelters can check out at the library. Not all, but some person’s living at shelters are thieves. They steal things belonging to other person’s living in the Shelters. Homed people are responsible for the cost of replacing unreturned items. Most homeless people are not in the financial position to do so. Many library’s allow homeless people to stay in out of the rain and heat, so that they have full access to books, newspapers, magazines and can read all day, if they choose. Some homeless trash the public restrooms in libraries, not cleaning up after using the sinks to bathe. They also hang out in the restroom looking to earn money by selling stuff, like candy. Funding is being cut to Free Public Libraries. To sue a library, rather than say “thank you” is hurting all the patrons that can not afford to buy books.

  2. On July 19, 2006 at 10:11 Mike said:

    Mary–This policy does not look at all the addresses in the city, and ask “Which addresses tend to have people who don’t return books?”

    This policy says, “We think homeless people return books less than other people, so we’ll have a policy against all homeless people.”

    There are plenty of people who are thieves, or poor, or irresponsible who do not live in homeless shelters. There are plenty of people in homeless shelters who return their books on time.

    Let’s descriminate against people who don’t return their books, instead of discriminating against the homeless.

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