Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Library Bathroom Crime Info Sought - Please Help and Comment

Please help me uncover cases of child rape or child molestation in public library bathrooms. I would like to write a scholarly work on this issue, and I would like it to be as informative and accurate as possible. Please comment below with any information you may know. Please include specific URLs or specific citations. If any written works already exist on the subject, I would like to know about them too (example).

Note, I am a member of the American Library Association [ALA]. This work will not be a vehicle for any undue criticism of the ALA. I seek assistance from anyone and everyone, including ALA members, including those ALA leaders about whom I have been critical. It is my intention that this work be as factual and therefore as useful as possible. People may disagree with my conclusions, but my facts should be spot on.

I am currently aware of relevant incidents in Philadelphia, PA; Brooklyn, NY; Des Moines, IA, and the recent one in St. Paul, MN. Are there others? (Might this query help, or this one?)

Please help all you can, and please provide the information in the comments section below so everyone may benefit.

Thank you.


  1. Dan, I am sending you an email off-post with information about a child being molested here in St. Louis, literally ten houses away from my old house. Ironically, this story broke the local news a day after I did a talk at Donna Hearne's Public Policy Conference. I was discussing the age-inappropriate material in the Teen Departments in our St. Louis County Library branches and how children are being raped and molested in libraries at an alarming rate and attempted to establish the causal relationship for the attendees. I actually warned them that if we didn't act on this, a child in our own community would be next.

    I can't tell you how many emails I got in the days following this event. It was incredible timing, while I am sick about what happened to this child, it was a catalyst to community support for this issue.

    Just a few weeks ago, in Denver, at the library three miles away from my best friend's home, a girl was followed out of the library and taken from the parking lot and raped. This actually happened while I was out there on vacation. While it didn't happen in the restroom perse, the rest of the story is the same and I think, just as relevant.

    I am just one person, both of these recent events are just so close to home for me.

    Dan I commend you for taking this issue on. It must be addressed, so that it can be prevented in the future.

    Thank you for all you are doing to protect our nation's children.


  2. I just wanted to pass along an excellent article written by Dan that was just published in the MetroVoice in St. Louis.

    Thanks Dan! Laura Kostial

  3. Seeking assistance from those who you have repeatedly bashed and made rather harsh comments about in the past may not be your best move. I know, I know, you state that your work "will not be a vehicle for any undue criticism of the ALA," but your past efforts allow little faith that you will not at least attempt to walk that road.

    In other words, It's a bit like a White Supremacist asking for stories of good, wholesome American white people being attacked by African-Americans on the subway, and then stating that the finished document will not be alarmingly biased.

  4. Say what you want. The proof will be in the pudding.

    My past criticism of the ALA has been justified, and others criticize the ALA, even its own Councilors and members, even on issues at the heart of the ALA's efforts to claim it is age discrimination to keep children from any material whatsoever. I'm just not going to use this new effort for any undue criticism. And if I find the data indicate the ALA is blameless, I'll say so as well. Further, all my data will be linked or otherwise publicized so independent review is possible.

    Instead of knocking me, why not provide me with information you want me to consider. Indeed, this blog is specifically designed to allow such material to be posted publicly so everyone can see it, so my work is perfectly transparent, and so others can use it themselves to their own advantage. Contrast that with the blog of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom that allows no comments. Ironic, no?

  5. Wow! I see that last anonymous poster posted the same thing on another blog with a much higher visibility! (The blog, LISNews, reposted my blog in an apparent honest effort to help with my efforts to gather data on the subject.) See Well.. to see the exact same words posted on LISNews. (Perhaps it's elsewhere too.) This evidences that the comment was not really directed to me; was ad hominem in nature, particularly when combined with the "White Supremacist" comment I initially ignored, and was merely intended to defame me and perhaps protect his own perceived turf. It may amount to libel.

    It's too bad people feel the need to behave in such a matter. But not all are like that. I hereby thank LISNews for republishing my post. Anyone who visits LISNews regularly knows that it provides access to library and information sciences news in a fair and balanced manner.

    I asked the ALA for a similar public announcement, including the Office for Intellectual Freedom, I am an ALA member after all, but it has not yet done so. I don't recall asking LISNews for its help--it just did the right thing on its own.

  6. I bet I can predict what Dan's scholarly article will conclude...

    "Privacy screens in library bathrooms are completely ineffective. All stalls should be removed and video cameras installed so the librarians can monitor the bathroom contents continuously and in real time."

    Dan, you're a scholarly genus! Problem solved!

  7. Honestly that's funny, Alan. And I do appreciate your commenting here from time to time.

    But (to return with another funny) the comment you just made makes me wonder if you have any connection with the following story:

    "Man Accused of Drilling Peep Holes Into Public Restrooms," by Teresa Blackman,, 20 August 2008.

    TUALATIN, Ore. -- A homeless man drilled peep holes into the walls of the public library restroom and left behind child pornography, according to investigators who said they arrested him on Monday.

    Police said Jonathan R. Jennings, 28, a transient, had lurked in the Tualatin Community Park as well as the Tualatin Public Library and made what appeared to be peep holes in the restrooms.

    "Evidence seized from the three incidents was sent to the Oregon State Crime Lab and once processed, fingerprints matching those of Mr. Jennings were discovered," said Captain Larry Braaksma with the Tualatin Police Department. "After securing a search warrant for a residence Mr. Jennings frequented, a surveillance unit spotted him near the Tualatin Public Library and followed him to the Tualatin Community City Park. He was taken into custody a short time later after exiting the men's restroom."

    Braaksma said the men's bathroom was inspected after Jennings left and the repaired holes had been re-opened.

    Police also conducted a search warrant and Braaksma said they found various media storage equipment that was seized and turned over to the Oregon State Crime Lab Computer Forensics experts for analysis.

    Meantime, Jennings was lodged at the Washington County Jail and charged with two counts of encouraging child sex abuse and criminal mischief. Braaksma said more charges could be pending after the Crime Lab completes its computer analysis.


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