- "Gilbert Council Restores Funds for Library Security," by Srianthi Perera, The Arizona Republic, 11 June 2011, hyperlink and highlighting added.
That prompted [outgoing Councilwoman Linda] Abbott to ask why the library didn't call police more often.
"I don't know if I have a good answer to that," [Former Southeast Library Manager Andrew] Chanse replied. "It's probably something that we're just not necessarily in the habit of doing. Are we going to call for someone that's stealing a DVD? Probably not."
Since last July, Chanse said, 4,000 DVDs costing about $30 each have been stolen from the library - quadruple the number of thefts recorded four years ago.
- "Gilbert Library Staffs Dealing with Threats, Theft, Porn," by Srianthi Perera, The Arizona Republic, 3 June 2011, highlighting added.
Since the town eliminated funding for security guards in July because of budget woes, the Southeast Regional and Perry branch libraries in Gilbert have had a spate of disturbing occurrences, records show.
Among them: threats and physical harm to library staff, mentally unstable individuals distracting patrons by screaming, theft, property damage and viewing pornography on the public computers.
Various reports suggest the librarians' safety and well-being, as well as that of patrons, are threatened.
In a Facebook posting dated April 27, Chanse stated: "Assaulted by one customer today and threatened with bodily harm by another. Who says librarians have it easy?"
He also wrote:
"We had a mentally ill customer assault one of my staff while I was out of the building. He got in her face and roughly grabbed her arm. I got a positive ID of him today and approached him. He immediately got in my face and started shouting profanities. I tried to give him the option to calm down or leave, but he wouldn't listen. So I demanded he leave . . . he did try and get on a computer. I took his library card, at which point he rushed me and grabbed my arm. I broke free and called the police . . . "
Chanse's reference to the other incident involved a patron with large fines who had received several courtesy waivers. When the patron and her husband were asked to leave because they were refusing to pay the fine, both threatened Chanse. The husband said he would be seeing him after the library was closed. Chanse called the police and an officer stayed outside in his car until the library closed.
"This stuff never happened when we had security guards," Chanse wrote. "We have too many people (kids) in that place to mess around with this stuff."
In a report to the town detailing customer incidents, Chanse states: "I think we are more of a destination for the have-nots than ever before. ....
Mark Sequeira, a father of four children aged 4-11, and his wife Jennifer, are frequent patrons of the library. Sequeira, who owns MJA Studios, a graphic design and marketing shop, sometimes works on his projects in the library in the evenings. One evening he watched police arrive and escort a patron outside.
While he is not worried about the security for his children at the library, Sequeira expressed concern for the library staff, most of whom he knows on a personal basis. He and a few others have volunteered to help if there are any concerns. Most of the librarians are female.
"They (librarians) never asked (for help), but it's really putting everybody at risk," Sequeira said. "I just wanted to help them feel more safe."
"I know the ladies at the library often have to close and also have to confront men on the computers or being obnoxious," he wrote. "It should not be this way. We are needlessly putting at risk a rare treasure in our community."
- "Gilbert is 5th in U.S. in Site's Safety Ranking," by unnamed, The Arizona Republic, 8 Jun 2011.
"For our local public-safety heroes and our entire community, we are honored to receive this national recognition as the fifth-safest community in the country," said Mayor John Lewis, "Public safety has always been and will continue to be a Gilbert priority."
Calling the ranking "an important honor at a time when Gilbert is becoming known for its biomedical industry," town spokeswoman Beth Lucas said, "Gilbert has long been honored for its safe, family-friendly atmosphere."
Residents participating in the 2010 Heads of Households Survey list safety as one of the reasons they continue to rate the town high, with a current approval rating of 98 percent. In the survey, 95 percent of residents said they felt safe from crime while driving or in their homes in Gilbert.
And the residents felt safe while driving and while in their homes according to the 2010 Heads of Households Survey? Well it is time that survey ask how people feel about the crime in their public libraries, is it not?
Ask whether people feel the library should report all crime to the police. Ask if the library should decide what illegal activity gets reported to the police and what does not. Ask if the people approve of the library following the policy from the out-of-state American Library Association [ALA] that urges libraries not to report crime to the police. See:
- "Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policy," by ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association, November 2008, emphasis added because this may be the very reason why the library does not report crimes:
As for obscenity and child pornography, prosecutors and police have adequate tools to enforce criminal laws. Libraries are not a component of law enforcement efforts naturally directed toward the source, i.e., the publishers, of such material.
- "Town of Gilbert Heads-of-Households Survey; Attitudes on Planning and Services 2010," by Margaret C. Kenski, Ph.D., Arizona Opinion, 21 December 2010.
So if "law enforcement efforts [are] naturally directed toward the source, i.e., the publishers, of such material," does that not mean no one is ever guilty of violating the relevant law because it is really the publishers who are to blame? Go ahead, blame the publishers, and watch how fast the ALA and the ACLU defend them. For example, both the ALA and the ACLU joined with "adult-entertainment producers" and defended publishers of "virtual child pornography." See:
- "Supreme Court Overturns Ban on 'Virtual' Child Pornography," by American Library Association, American Libraries, 22 April 2002.
Let me make another observation. First, I could not tell from the library's web site whether or not the library filters computers or, if it does, whether or not the filters are actually CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) complaint. But I do know this: the library is receiving CIPA's E-Rate funding for Internet access that can only be obtained if a library complies with CIPA.
Guess what? The ALA advises libraries how to sidestep CIPA and still get federal funding, and some do so fraudulently. It is possible the police may have something else to review, namely, whether the library is filing false CIPA claims, and whether that violates some code against official malfeasance.
Why is this relevant? Because from the description of the crime in the library, my experience tells me either Internet filters are not on all computers, are able to be turned off by the patrons themselves, are not reapplied if the person views certain inappropriate material, or are otherwise not CIPA compliant.
And here is the evidence of the library's collection of CIPA funding:
|2010||MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||2700 N Central Ave Ste 700 PHOENIX, AZ 85004||Library/Library Consortium||015||Internet Access||59 %||$26,675.65|
|2009||MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||2700 N Central Ave Ste 700 PHOENIX, AZ 85004||Library/Library Consortium||010||Internet Access||56 %||$26,052.10|
|2008||MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||2700 N Central Ave Ste 700 PHOENIX, AZ 85004||Library/Library Consortium||026||Internet Access||61 %||$7,384.08|
|MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||2700 N Central Ave Ste 700 PHOENIX, AZ 85004||Library/Library Consortium||026||Internet Access||61 %||$7,384.08|
|2007||MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||2700 N Central Ave Ste 700 PHOENIX, AZ 85004||Library/Library Consortium||012||Internet Access||57 %||$15,688.14|
|MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||2700 N Central Ave Ste 700 PHOENIX, AZ 85004||Library/Library Consortium||012||Internet Access||57 %||$15,688.14|
|2006||MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||17811 N 32ND ST PHOENIX, AZ 85032||Library/Library Consortium||015||Internet Access||60 %||$34,862.54|
|MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||17811 N 32ND ST PHOENIX, AZ 85032||Library/Library Consortium||015||Internet Access||60 %||$48,420.14|
|2005||MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||17811 N 32ND ST PHOENIX, AZ 85032||Library/Library Consortium||012||Internet Access||57 %||$46,352.54|
|MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DIST||17811 N 32ND ST PHOENIX, AZ 85032||Library/Library Consortium||010||Internet Access||57 %||$33,472.82|
Is $261,980.23 an ill-gotten gain? Could it have been necessary to hide the library crime so as not to alert anyone that CIPA was being ignored?
In response to my conversation of 11 June 2011 with Sgt. Andrew Duncan, I am hereby providing the Gilbert Police Department with the above information for further disposition as they see fit. And I'll be here when help is needed as the ALA spin machine kicks into high gear.
The ALA spin machine. The ALA spin that quietly offers money to local citizens who support its cause. I haven't written about that yet but I will. The ALA spin that fakes the annual top 10 list of challenged books to promote its political agenda. I haven't written about that yet but I will. The ALA spin that anonymously astroturfs for a George Soros group called Free Press. The ALA spin that plagiarizes low quality "censorship" maps. The ALA spin that, in yet another double standard, labels 100% of the people complying with ALA-inspired material reconsideration policies as "censors." The ALA spins that gives an award to a school librarian who admitted publicly that she cannot perform her job, so she lets the students read the racy books. I had to provide these examples as the library is sure to defend its positions as those related to "intellectual freedom," the First Amendment, etc., and the investigators need to expect the attempt to mislead them.
Dr. Frank Kardasz. See, in particular, "Child Porn Trafficking in Public Libraries; Libraries Actively Thwart Child Porn Investigations."
Or consider, for example, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, a Democrat who saw to it Phoenix libraries got filtering and that the filters were applied properly. I mention he is a Democrat because I anticipate the tired argument that only Conservatives want to protect children from harm.
Perhaps this Phoenix mother will have knowledge of the ALA that may be of use: "School Removes Squirting Sperm Book After 8-Year-Old Complains To Her Mother." And it is a former Arizona Library Association president who was making false statements to a school to try to coerce the school into restoring access of a child to inappropriate material.
I hope this information/opinion helps get to the root of the problem.