Thursday, January 04, 2007

From today's New YorkTimes...
Town Considers Guards for Library Disrupted by Students
By TINA KELLEY, Published: January 4, 2007


The Maplewood Township Committee is asking the public library’s board of trustees not to follow through with a plan to close its two buildings during after-school hours and is considering providing security guards to help quell disruptive behavior, Mayor Fred R. Profeta Jr. said Wednesday.

The committee discussed a plan late Tuesday night to provide the library with security guards. "The township will pay for that, because it’s a public safety issue, though it may go through the library budget," Mr. Profeta said in an interview.

The mayor said he would petition the library board to rescind its initial decision before the planned closing on Jan. 16. “I think the closure’s a very bad idea,” the mayor said. “I think that it was not warranted, because a lot of the programs we have in the works are designed — and well designed — to alleviate the situation. We just have to put those in place.”

But David Huemer, who represents the Maplewood Township Committee on the library board, said the library had already indicated that a plan for guards was not enough to rescind its vote on the closing.
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At January 04, 2007 4:52 PM, Blogger Anne said...

It would be interesting to know if the mayor offered the guards before or after the library board decided to close, wouldn't it?

At January 06, 2007 10:47 AM, Blogger Liz B said...

I'm convinced that before now, the library wasn't getting the financial or community help it needed (ie, the costs of guards, and other entities, including parents and the school, stepping up) and that this was done to force the community to respond to the needs of the teens, rather than it being all on the library.

At January 06, 2007 12:28 PM, Blogger Peter Bromberg said...

I don't feel we're in the best position to judge whether or not this was an appropriate action for the Maplewood Library. I certainly don't like the idea of closing the library, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that Maplewood shouldn't have done so in this case.

I think the closure was a high-risk move; a gamble. Creating a crisis situation is always high risk, but it may also be what was needed to draw attention to the problem. Of course, one could also argue that the library didn't create the crisis by closing the library, only drew attention to a crisis that already existed.

While I don't like the idea of a library closing to deal with behavior problems, I'm inclined to support Maplewood's decision, trusting that they are in the best position to evaluate the problem and the appropriate response.


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