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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Personal Property

I have heard people say they’ve been to places where they “didn’t have to lock the doors at night.” These seem to have occurred in small town America or in the 50s. I have never lived in an area or an era where I felt comfortable leaving the doors unlocked, and that’s sad for me.

Many people must feel safe at the library. Unfortunately, we do have our share of larcenies. Laptops, cell phones, wallets and bicycles have been stolen from our libraries. We all wish this were not true, that libraries could be bubbles of a bygone era or small town life where everyone knows everyone else. But for the most part, customers at libraries represent a microcosm of the community at large.

Bikes should be locked at libraries and personal property should not be left unattended. Just a public safety reminder to try to prevent someone from experiencing that awful feeling when you first realize that something of value has been stolen.

Mary Mulrenan, Fairfax County Public Library

(Image courtesy of the National Crime Prevention Council)

5 comments:

Diane W said...

Very very true. Libraries are public buildings and the public is a lot of different people. There were bad people in those small towns (and unlocked door times too) but we didn't always know it because there wasn't 24 hour news - so we were naive in our innocence.

Anonymous said...

About 10 years ago we used to live in Maine and we never locked our doors. We lived in a small town of about 1100 people. I believe there are many small towns across America that people feel comfortable leaving their doors unlocked. When the local news on TV consists of pigs escaping from some farm AND having a follow-up on it, on the next days' news cast you can bet its pretty safe.

Mary Mulrenan said...

Thank you for your comments. I do wish I had that experience of living in a safe community. Perhaps it's not too late! Hearing what the farm animals are up to (instead of the criminals) sounds divine!

S.L. said...

Most importantly, don't leave your children unattended. As a youth services librarian, I saw this all too often. Once there was a five year old dropped off while his mom went to run errands! Even walking away for just a few minutes, and someone can run off with or harm a child. Librarians are not and cannot be babysitters.

Mary Mulrenan said...

Thank you for your comment. That is a very important point. Children should never be left unattended at the library.