Selasa, 17 Juni 2014

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Your Local Library Can Be a Dangerous Place

There are several ways to start a big argument at a party.
You can gripe about the standings of a local college sports team ("Hey! I went to that school!"), you can complain about the quality of K-12 teaching ("How dare you! My sister's a teacher!"), or you can suggest that the time for the local library branch has come and gone. Libraries create strong feelings, especially if the crowd is 50 or over. You hear things like, "We need a place for the children to learn to read!" or "Libraries are our national treasure!" or "If there were no libraries, where would people get books?" Or, as I like to say, "If it weren't for our libraries, where would the homeless guy, the pedophile, or the alcohol-abusing female schizophrenic go to hang out?"


Let me start by saying I like libraries now and I loved them as a kid.

And, I'm a "book guy"; reading and writing (15 books so far) have been a full and important part of my entire life. But I was also a cop, and for the past 12 years I have taught a program called "The Difficult Patron" for dozens of libraries. This half-day session is all about one thing: safety and security for the library staff and protecting them, and the normal patrons, from the abnormal patrons.

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