Friday, July 24, 2015

Old Navy v. Orland Park Public Library: Convicted Child Killer Arrested at Indianapolis Public Library

Making sure you saw this: convicted child killer arrested at Indianapolis Public Library

Story Time Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 8:30 PM

To: Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees
Re: Convicted child killer arrested in Indianapolis Public Library today

-- Board Action Needed --

I am making sure that the OPPL Board of Trustees (OPPL-BoT) is aware of this news story from today (7/23/15), where a convicted child killer was arrested at the Indianapolis Public Library. You can read the full story here:

This is a predator who had recently been released from prison after serving 7 years for child molestation and child porn charges. One of the first things he did upon release was to head to the public library, where it appears he accessed child porn again or did something else in the library to violate his parole. 

The OPPL-BoT has never seemed to take the safety of children very seriously in your library, which is one of the big areas of criticism that Megan Fox and I have had for the OPPL-BoT since we started coming to your board meetings in October 2013. You really do not seem to care about children at all and instead seem to always want to side with the guys who masturbate in your library or who access illegal things like child porn. 

You seem proud of winning that ALA award for continuing to allow access to illegal materials on your computers…and you seem unashamed that as a Board you continue refusing to apologize for or address all of the incident reports where children were put at risk because of sexual activity or behavior in your library. 

Mary Weimar, as Library Director, has particularly seemed disinterested in the safety of children at the OPPL. Members of the Orland Park Police Department and reporter Dennis Sullivan from the Chicago Tribune both told us that for years Mary Weimar was informed by the police that registered sex offenders were violating their paroles by coming into the OPPL and being around children…but Weimar chose over and over again not to call the police when these men were in the library. 

This is on top of Weimar choosing not to call the police when child porn was reported to have been accessed on 3/8/11 and your own internal incident report shows that Weimar spoke with the man who did that, the man then admitted that child porn had been on his screen, and Weimar simply told him not to do it ever again (or, if he did, he would banned from the library…but the police would still not be called). This Board has admitted that Weimar did not call the police but should have, as any sane person would have done. 

The Board has now promised to never again allow child porn to go unreported to the police (and you seem to have an attitude of "the past is the past" and "oh, well"). 

When you factor in all the other incident reports showing sex crimes having been committed in your library and you look at Mary Weimar's response time and again as Director, you will see a troubling pattern of Weimar choosing wherever possible not to call the police and doing things that allow these men to get away. Why? 

Why does Mary Weimar keep doing that? 

Shouldn't you be mindful of things like what just happened today in Indianapolis and look at the OPPL and ask, "Are we really doing everything to remedy the past mistakes that were made here by Mary Weimar?". 

I would like the OPPL-BoT to finally address this.

Photo by Kevin DuJan (cropped by me).

I would also like to draw your attention to something that the Old Navy store in downtown Chicago does that might be a great idea for you. On the entrance doors to Old Navy on State Street in the LOOP, there is a notice posted to the glass doors stating that Old Navy is a Family Friendly establishment and that any criminal activity will be reported immediately to the police. This seems to serve as an effective deterrent to at least some segment of criminal element (or why would Old Navy have bothered doing this?). Old Navy communicates to anyone entering the store that children will be protected inside Old Navy…so anyone who would hurt a child should go elsewhere because Old Navy is a place where staff will vigilantly call the police on anyone attempting to hurt a child or engage in illegal activity. 

Old Navy's sign says:  "OLD NAVY PROMOTES A SAFE, FAMILY SHOPPING ENVIRONMENT. Criminal activity will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." 

The OPPL has no such notice on its doors. But, you should have one. 

I think the OPPL should have signs that say: "THE ORLAND PARK PUBLIC LIBRARY PROMOTES A SAFE, FAMILY ENVIRONMENT. Criminal activity will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." 

Your entrance doors currently have more signs saying "No Smoking" than I can count. You have that posted over and over and over and over again. You must have gotten a bulk discount on the number of NO SMOKING signs you purchased for your entrance doors. I think you unofficially hold the Guinness World Record for the number of NO SMOKING signs plastered on a single entranceway. 

Similarly, you have countless "No Guns" signs on your doors. You don't have as many as you have NO SMOKING signs, but NO GUNS is a message you clearly want to send to anyone entering your building. In all the incident reports I have reviewed about crimes happening at the OPPL through the years, not once have I seen anything involving guns. Yet, you make a big production of telling people that there will be all sorts of negative consequences if they bring firearms into your building. 

So…considering the fact that you are a library where child porn was reported to have been accessed, where incidents of open public masturbation and other sex crimes have occurred, and where known sex offenders like David Varlotta have been known to roam (in violation of their parole, according to what Dennis Sullivan told me)…why don't you have anything on your doors as a notice that the OPPL is a safe place for children where police are called whenever anyone attempts to harm a child? 

Why aren't you, at bare minimum, at least doing what Old Navy does? 

Old Navy has no smoking signs. Old Navy has no gun signs. Old Navy has a prominent notice to any would-be creeps that Old Navy protects children. 

Why doesn't the OPPL do that? Can you look into it, at least? 

I've attached a picture I took of the Old Navy sign today so you can see what they have done. I truly believe that if you posted something like this on your doors alongside the NO SMOKING and NO GUNS signs that you would send a strong message to creeps that the OPPL staff has become serious about protecting children from harm. 

That has not been the message that Mary Weimar has sent for all these years of not calling the police when she should have and for looking the other way on things so that creeps could get away. But, you have the chance to turn the page and make a positive change. 

Will you follow in Old Navy's footsteps and do that? This is not a rhetorical question. I'd like an answer from the Board on this. 

Kevin DuJan
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