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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 883954  
Subject: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/29/2013 7:00 PM
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Well, I have been using neighboring libraries the past couple of months for internet access.


Today I experienced an obnoxious library patron, and I'd be interested in comments from others on whether such behavior is reasonably regarded as objectionable and whether libraries should adopt rules to protect the public from such behavior.


I was seated at a library computer terminal --- rather close quarters seating.

The person across from me was coughing his lungs up with a hacking cough, repeated episodes every minute or two. He had nothing but his hand to prevent clouds of whatever was in his mouth and lungs to be expelled into the air.


I objected to him about this, which produced the excuse that he was putting his hand over his mouth.


I complained to the library staff, who said there was nothing they could do.

I used a library form to complain about the lack of a rule which would protect library patrons from this kind of health hazard. Then I left.


Any comments would be welcome. What responsibilities do libraries have to act against such nuisances?




Seattle Pioneer
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Author: numbrel Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871058 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/29/2013 7:32 PM
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Well, speaking as a volunteer in my local library's computer lab, I would not ask the man to leave.

When people talk loudly on their cell phones or to each other or even to themselves, I will ask them to lower their voices. But hacking and coughing is not an expellable offense in our library. There is one man who comes in almost every morning and looks at girls in bikinis in suggestive posses. We keep an eye out on what he is looking at just in case the girls start losing their clothing. But so far, he hasn't crossed that line yet. The Mormon missionaries who come in to do their email have learned where they can sit without seeing his screen.

I will admit that listening to someone hacking and making other sounds is not pleasant, but it is a public space and they are allowed to be there.

Barbara

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Author: alchook Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871059 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/29/2013 7:42 PM
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There is one man who comes in almost every morning and looks at girls in bikinis in suggestive posses.

That sounds like one hip library.

Are the girls volunteers or are they paid out of general tax revenues?

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Author: Lea77 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871060 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/29/2013 8:02 PM
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It's just that time of year. It would have been polite for the guy to leave, but when you are in a public space you are going to be dealing with...the public. For good or for ill.

If you hate it, come back at a different time (or get your own home set up).

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871061 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/29/2013 8:10 PM
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You can't have him booted. There was a Supreme Court ruling several years ago that even patrons who were obnoxious, annoying, vaguely threatening, and so on could not be kicked out. In one library we had a "patron" (meaning he never took out books, just hung around) who urinated on the stairs, stole from the staff, and exposed himself to teenagers, and we weren't allowed to kick him out.

We had another, a rather strange character with long hair, long beard, and piercing blue eyes who had complained that I was hiding materials from him. We had a backup plan in case he came in with an Uzi, but he couldn't be kicked out.

A suggestion of kleenex might have gotten a better response.

Nancy

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Author: StockGoddess Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871064 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/29/2013 9:02 PM
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Next he'll want people expelled for breathing too loud...

coughing isn't exactly something you can control. Loud cell phone usage, yes, but coughing?

It's flu season. Grab a quick book and go home.

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871069 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/29/2013 10:19 PM
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I used a library form to complain about the lack of a rule which would protect library patrons from this kind of health hazard. Then I left.

Any comments would be welcome. What responsibilities do libraries have to act against such nuisances?


The library should have immediately called the police and had the coughing man removed as a public health hazard. They should have screeners at each entrance to turn away those with possible communicable diseases and should have a detailed (& posted) procedure for how to disinfect the area in case of incursions by sick persons. Legitimate (non-sick) library patrons should be informed of their potential exposure and be able to receive diagnostic services at the expense of the library system.

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Author: Globetraveler Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871071 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/29/2013 11:23 PM
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I complained to the library staff, who said there was nothing they could do.

I used a library form to complain about the lack of a rule which would protect library patrons from this kind of health hazard. Then I left.


It seems a bit odd after all the complaining you do here about the government interfering in people's life, you are looking for help from a government run establishment to interfere with someone else. :-)

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871072 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 12:24 AM
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Any comments would be welcome. What responsibilities do libraries have to act against such nuisances?

A computer with Internet access doesn't cost THAT much. I'm surprised you don't have one.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871082 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 9:15 AM
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I complained to the library staff, who said there was nothing they could do.

Of course. Libraries are libertarian paradise. The nanny state has been vanquished. You are on your own.

(See how this works better in rural, widespread areas than in urban and close-in settings?) No?

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871088 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 10:34 AM
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What responsibilities do libraries have to act against such nuisances?

How much coughing or sneezing is enough to get someone booted? Someone could cough a lot not because they have a cold, but are heavy smokers - while another person might be just developing the flu, be in the "contagious" stage, and only sneeze once while at a computer terminal.

It's a public space, so they staff cannot boot people out. Therefore if you want to use the computers but lower your risk of getting sick, why not get some latex gloves and a full face visor and wear them while you're at the library?

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871091 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 10:59 AM
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I'm annoyed that tax dollars fund free computer/internet usage for frugal, retired millionaires.

Not really. It's a tiny, tiny thing SP. Germs from a sick person are all over their personal atmospheric zone, which is pretty large. Doesn't much matter if they cough. Some guy having a cold in the same room with you is not a "public health hazard."

xtn

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Author: ChiliChild Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871095 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 12:10 PM
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A suggestion of kleenex might have gotten a better response.

This.
And I'd keep some individually wrapped cough drops on hand to offer.

Chili

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871096 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 12:21 PM
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Ask a librarian if they keep sanitizing wipes on hand to disinfect keyboards, copy machines, what have you between patrons. If not, you might bring your own. Some grocery stores are starting to keep dispensers by the grocery carts for convenience.

Use hand sanitizer after being out in public.

You could also wear a disposable surgeon's mask (I keep a supply myself) and put it on when around coughing/sneezing/snorting people.

ASIDE
I guess that germy fellow was standing his ground ;-)

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Author: ChiliChild Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871097 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 12:23 PM
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Ugh. Sorry. Didn't realize to whom you were answering: Mr. The Government is Bad Unless I Say So or Want Its Help.

Nevermind.

Chili

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871101 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 1:48 PM
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I live in Brooklyn, NY. I am actually afraid to go into my library.
Last year two homeless men got into a fight and one stabbed the other.
The homeless are allowed in the library and there are so many of them in cold weather. I feel for them but they take up most of the comfortable seating and bring all their stuff with them.
Having lived in the suburbs most of my life this was a big change for me. Most people order their books online and pop into the library just to pick them up.
The children's room is so noisy you can't hear yourself think.
It is filled with nannies and caregivers and occasionally a parent. Most talking on their own cell phones while the little ones scream and run around with no supervision.
So, Seattle, you want to trade places?

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Author: R0TJob Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871103 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 2:28 PM
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http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/59579_43309915788...

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871107 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 2:39 PM
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I appreciate all the comments made.


Frankly, I think libraries should be free to deal with nuisances and nuiosance people in order to maintain a safe environment for people to visit. Otherwise you will wind up with nuisance people driving a lot of other people from the library.


That goes double for health hazards like someone with a hacking cough. That's a health hazard, particularly at this time of the year.

But for those who want to preserve the right of people to bring nuisances and health hazards into libraries, I will wish that you have a person with a hacking cough spraying his viruses all over you.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871108 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 2:44 PM
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<<I live in Brooklyn, NY. I am actually afraid to go into my library.
Last year two homeless men got into a fight and one stabbed the other.
The homeless are allowed in the library and there are so many of them in cold weather. I feel for them but they take up most of the comfortable seating and bring all their stuff with them.
Having lived in the suburbs most of my life this was a big change for me. Most people order their books online and pop into the library just to pick them up.
The children's room is so noisy you can't hear yourself think.
It is filled with nannies and caregivers and occasionally a parent. Most talking on their own cell phones while the little ones scream and run around with no supervision.
So, Seattle, you want to trade places?
>>



Well, the libraries around here are usually a LOT more orderly than that!

But you describe what happens when libraries fail to deal with nuisances. The facility becomes degraded, even dangerous. The people creating nuisances keep coming driving other people away.


I have a measure of sympathy for homeless people who are occupying chairs.

But people who are noisy, threatening or health hazards should be told to shape up or ship out.


Seattle Pioneer

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871109 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 2:55 PM
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It's a public space. If you don't like it, buy books or buy intent.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871110 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 3:24 PM
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It's a public space. If you don't like it, buy books or buy intent.

Or reconnect your computer to the internet.

Nancy

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871111 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 3:39 PM
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But for those who want to preserve the right of people to bring nuisances and health hazards into libraries, I will wish that you have a person with a hacking cough spraying his viruses all over you.

You sometimes come up with the strangest misreading of comments. We said that the rules, as dictated by the Supreme Court, state that a public entity, such as a library, does not have the right to dictate who may or may not enter the building. That is the law.

And you immediately turn that around and start claiming that we are defending the rights of people who are a health hazard. That isn't what we said. We said members of the public all have the same rights as anyone else.

I know of only one person who was legally banned from public libraries. He used to check out the large art books, then cut the pictures out to make collages. He was banned, through a court order, and the court wanted proof.

Yes, it would be nice if people were more courteous and stayed home when they were sick. But not everyone has that option.

Nancy

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871115 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 4:15 PM
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Oh, and I failed to mention that the schizophrenics used to hang out on the second floor landing.
I actually live in Brooklyn Heights which is famous for it's panoramic view of Manhattan from the Promenade.
So, to have to put up with the craziness at the local library seems a bit much. At any rate I just read that this library will be closing soon. The air conditioning will cost something like 3 1/2 million to replace so they have decided to relocate the library.
This is a big library and it services many different neighborhoods.
It's sad but I am moving anyway and hopefully things will be better in a smaller town where I would love to volunteer my time.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871116 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 5:26 PM
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That's what I meant. - "internet" not "intent".
This auto-correct is killing me...

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Author: MissEdithKeeler Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871120 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 6:19 PM
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But for those who want to preserve the right of people to bring nuisances and health hazards into libraries, I will wish that you have a person with a hacking cough spraying his viruses all over you.


Well, not just libraries. Let's just ban all those germ-spraying crazies. Why, I think there oughta be a law, and I think this could create jobs, too, as we create both federal and state agencies and designate them as the "Germ Police."

Anyone with a cough should be forbidden from any public space. No coughers or sneezers on airplanes or any other common carriers. In the case of air travel, the TSA will have the responsibilty for screening all boarding passengers for viruses, at the same time they are tossing shampoos bottles over 3 ounces and confiscating nail clippers. Land travel carriers (including municipal busses, bus companies like Megabus and Greyhound must immediately remove a passenger the first sign of a cough or a sneeze. Amtrak has the option of moving the offending passnger to a special car with a seperate air circulation system.

Other public places funded by tax dollars will ban sneezers and coughers. (Throat clearing is OK, as long as done with the mouth completely closed). Any venue funded with public money must monitor and remove coughers and sneezers immediately. This includes football, basketball, baseball, etc. stadiums funded with public bonds, etc. as well as public high schools and colleges. Private venues may admit coughers and sneezers at their own risk.

Other places that are considered "public" but which are actually private, including stores, malls, grocery stores, restaurants,office buildings, etc. may remove coughers and sneezers based on their own discretion.

Removal of coughers and sneezers from public spaces is the exception to the Americans with Diabilities act, and there will be no protection offered to any citizen for coughing and sneezing, and any action taken against a cougher or a sneezer will not be considered a violation of any federal, state or local civil rights code.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871122 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 6:37 PM
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I have an annoying cough during some times of the year.

It is not in any way contagious, as it's a result of post-nasal drip from allergies irritating my throat.

You wouldn't know that if I was in the library, although I do try to carry cough drops to limit the annoyance.

Believe me, it annoys me at least as much as it annoys you.

Ishtar

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871128 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 8:14 PM
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Let's just ban all those germ-spraying crazies.


Try avoiding germs on the New York City subway system where, if you are riding the train during rush hour, you are packed in like a sardine.
And you would only wish that someone coughing on you was the worst thing that happened to you on the subway!

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Author: LLRinCO Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871129 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 8:37 PM
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Just wear a mask if you are concerned!

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871131 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/30/2013 9:32 PM
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No coughers or sneezers on airplanes or any other common carriers.

I think the flight crew can block people from their flight who appear too sick (coughing, etc.). This arose during the SARS scare (as I recall) and has continued quietly since.

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871134 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 9:06 AM
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I live in Brooklyn, NY. I am actually afraid to go into my library.
Last year two homeless men got into a fight and one stabbed the other.
The homeless are allowed in the library and there are so many of them in cold weather. I feel for them but they take up most of the comfortable seating and bring all their stuff with them.
Having lived in the suburbs most of my life this was a big change for me. Most people order their books online and pop into the library just to pick them up.
The children's room is so noisy you can't hear yourself think.
It is filled with nannies and caregivers and occasionally a parent. Most talking on their own cell phones while the little ones scream and run around with no supervision.
So, Seattle, you want to trade places?


It really is surprising--Brooklyn Heights is very nice. Lest people think all of NYC is like this, my daughter lives in Harlem, and when I babysat for my grandson,I took him to the nearest library every week once he could sit up. Nothing ever seemed amiss to me. In fact, despite pretty heavy usage, it was at least as quiet as any suburban library I've used, If anyone was homeless, I couldn't tell. Nobody smelled bad, and quite a few adults were using the library in the daytime, many on computers like SP (no home computers, I presume).

At story hour, about 2/3 of the children were accompanied by nannies, babysitters and my fellow grandmas and the rest by Moms and a Dad or two. Wealthier families were more likely to have a SAHM to take the kids story hour. I know it may be counter to some folks expectations of Harlem, but while most people who live there are poor, there are a lot of working poor.

Also during the 18 months I lived in Harlem, there didn't seem to be proportionately any more sick or annoying people on the subway than I remember running into at work in the software business. I've been much more annoyed by groups of teenagers at suburban malls.

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Author: sissylue Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871138 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 12:25 PM
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We had one homeless guy who used to ALWAYS be at the library when we went (and we go a minimum of once a week). He was young (mid 20's maybe) and pretty scruffy and probably smelly but I never got close enough to ascertain that fact; he would always sit upstairs in one of the more comfy armchairs with his backpack and plastic bag, sometimes sleeping, sometimes reading. He seemed to favor non-fiction.

Anyway, we noticed a couple of months ago that he wasn't there anymore. After about the third or fourth time we noticed that he wasn't there anymore the girls got worried so we asked the front desk if he had been in lately, and if not, did she have any idea what had happened to him. She had no idea but did tell us that we were about the 10th person who had enquired about his whereabouts and had expressed concern about him dropping off the face of the earth. And yet I'm willing to bet that not one of us ever exchanged a single word with him.

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871141 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 2:13 PM
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(meaning he never took out books, just hung around) who urinated on the stairs, stole from the staff, and exposed himself to teenagers, and we weren't allowed to kick him out.

Why didn't someone call the police? While the library may not be able to pick and choose who their "patrons" are, the behavior you describe is against the law in pretty much every state I know of.

Urinating in public here will get you a hefty fine.

Stealing will get you arrested.

Exposing yourself to teenagers will get you arrested and if found guilty you could face both jail time and have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

Heck, there was a guy here a few years ago who got arrested for taking pictures of underage girls in a public park. They were fully clothed, but the terms of his probation stated that he was not allowed to be in any area frequented by young children (parks, school grounds, etc).

LWW

kinda glad she lives in a more conservative state.

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Author: MegHammond Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871142 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 2:22 PM
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Why didn't someone call the police?

What a great question.

Meg <grew up being told "if you're going to pray for potatoes, better pray with a hoe.">

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871143 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 2:44 PM
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Why didn't someone call the police?

Oh, we did. We did. So did every other person who met the guy. He had a long, long, history of petty theft and exposing himself. And each time the judge gave him a month or so in jail and he was right back out again.

It's been a long time since I was there, and during that time we've learned more about sex offenders and the laws have been tightened up. Offenders are more likely to get a long stretch in jail than a slap on the wrist. But my point was that even with all the problems he caused, and the way other patrons were disturbed by his behavior, we still couldn't ban him.

Nancy

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Author: MegHammond Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871144 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 3:54 PM
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Reality. So much more frustrating than the short stories I write in my mind. They all have happy endings.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871145 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 4:01 PM
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<<So, to have to put up with the craziness at the local library seems a bit much. At any rate I just read that this library will be closing soon. The air conditioning will cost something like 3 1/2 million to replace so they have decided to relocate the library.
This is a big library and it services many different neighborhoods.
It's sad but I am moving anyway and hopefully things will be better in a smaller town where I would love to volunteer my time.
>>


It's amusing to find my liberal friends suggesting that if you don't like people who are nuisances in libraries -- leave.

Or buy your own internet service.


That kind of attitude leads to the situation described by Brookly 1948 --- and for which people have no good answer for.


The simple fact is that if you fail to control nuisance behaviors, people who are nuisances will drive other people out of libarries.

And I'll bet that exodus BEGINS with a lot of women.

And before long you should expect to have formal and informal street gangs taking over libraries and intimidating other library patrons into leaving.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871146 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 4:05 PM
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But heck --- the comments of my liberal friends here suggest that my only mistake in dealing with the Toxic Cougher was that I complained to the impotent or unconcerned library management about the issue.

If nuisances are tolerated in libraries, then the obvious solution is for me to deal with the issue myself. I would be free to use my free speech rights to talk to the offending individual and describe his personal baits, parentage and behavior in detail.

I'm sure my liberal friends would defend my free speech rights in that kind of situation...



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: alchook Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871147 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 4:09 PM
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It's amusing to find my liberal friends suggesting that if you don't like people who are nuisances in libraries -- leave.

Because it’s so obvious?

Or buy your own internet service.

Well, that was a little tongue-in-cheek.

No one can afford to buy internet service.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871148 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 4:10 PM
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You are certainly free to be that much of an @ss if you wish.

Just not sure why you'd want to.

A polite, "Do you need a cough drop?" or, "Here's a tissue to help cover your mouth," or something (if you have one to offer) might be better.



Ishtar

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Author: snippee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871150 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 4:33 PM
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the comments of my liberal friends here suggest that my only mistake in dealing with the Toxic Cougher was that I complained to the impotent or unconcerned library management about the issue...I'm sure my liberal friends would defend my free speech rights in that kind of situation...


Depends on what you mean by "liberal friends". I'm guessing you mean "people who don't agree with me on this bizarre issue" because, seriously, look at who is commenting on this thread. All these posters who are telling you, rather diplomatically, that you're being Quixotic? Even a newbie knows enough to see that they span the breadth of the political spectrum.

But taking you at your word, and only speaking for my liberal-leaning self: I absolutely would defend your free speech rights "to talk to the offending individual and describe his personal baits, parentage and behavior in detail." As Ish noted, you are free to be an ass. Have at it.

Just remember there's no freedom from the consequences of same.

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871151 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 6:00 PM
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The simple fact is that if you fail to control nuisance behaviors, people who are nuisances will drive other people out of libarries.

True - but it's the masses who decide through laws what "nuisance behavior" is acceptable in public places - and it seems they've decided having a hacking cough is acceptable in a public library as long as there's no existing special quarantine due to a major health outbreak.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871152 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 7:03 PM
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I can only tell you what I experienced in our local library.
Brooklyn Heights is a very exclusive neighborhood surrounded by not so nice neighborhoods. There was a stabbing as reported in the Brooklyn Heights Blog. The stench from the homeless made me leave the library.
I am glad that you had a good experience at the Harlem library but
I did not. The library is shutting down. The local hospital is going bankrupt and will soon shut down due to bad management.
I am happy to be moving.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871153 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 7:12 PM
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And before long you should expect to have formal and informal street gangs taking over libraries and intimidating other library patrons into leaving.


I am sure most people on this board think that what you are saying is far fetched. I beg to differ. The reality is that I rarely see my neighbors in the library anymore and there's a reason for that.
I was told by a neighbor that she orders her books online and stops by the library to pick them up when they are ready. No surprise that the pick up area is right by the front door.
Oh, we also used to have a permanent armed guard sitting at a desk by the front door. I guess he retired because his desk is gone and so is he.

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Author: Wessex99 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871154 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 7:13 PM
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You are certainly free to be that much of an @ss if you wish.

Free to be??? It is, always.

Wessex

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871155 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 7:13 PM
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I am happy to be moving.

If you can't find a house in Newburyport (and you've mentioned the trouble you've had so far) there's a nice little stretch of towns just south of there. Newbury, Essex, Rowley and Ipswich are all nice towns.

Hamilton (a bit further south) is pricy. Polo fields cost a lot to maintain.

Nancy

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871156 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 7:32 PM
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Or buy your own internet service.

SP, go to a McDonald's they'll have free* Internet service.

*the price of a cup of coffee.

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Author: MissEdithKeeler Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871164 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 10:15 PM
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But heck --- the comments of my liberal friends here suggest that my only mistake in dealing with the Toxic Cougher was that I complained to the impotent or unconcerned library management about the issue.


What definition of "liberal" are we using here? The one that means "people whose opinions don't agree with mine?"

It strikes me that letting people hack and cough at will is kind of a libertarian position or conservative position--"We don't want to regulate that." I think someone pointed out elsewhere in this thread that complaining to the management was nanny-state-ism.

I'd think that the more liberal position would be "Let's save everyone from germs." (Arguably it's liberals who pushed for anti-smoking regulation, for example, because it was dangerous to others).

So, for example, on other boards gun control debates rage. "Liberals" want to regulate guns, regulate them more. "Conservatives" and "Libertarians" don't.

I'm not really clear why the opposite argument relative to coughing applies. Is it "Conservative" to regulate people's coughing in a public place, but "Liberal" to let them hack away?

I don't mean to turn this political, but it just seems funny.... I think SP might actually be a closet liberal. I dunno....

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871165 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 10:43 PM
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I would be free to use my free speech rights to talk to the offending individual and describe his personal baits, parentage and behavior in detail.

I'm sure my liberal friends would defend my free speech rights in that kind of situation...


So long as you WHISPER, you can say anything you please.

LWW

Shhh

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Author: Sphinx8 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871169 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 1/31/2013 11:28 PM
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I live in a small rural town in Canada. We have a nice looking library, with lots of computers. A neighbour, who is a policeman told me that when he went in with his kids, he saw all these people on parole, and others he knew from prison, using the computers. I guess they could not afford them at home, or did not want to use a computer that would be traced from their home. I warned my family, and we would never consider dropping the kids off, and letting them use the computers, or even reference books. We stay with them if necessary, but mainly they use their own computers at home.


About 3 years ago, I was using a computer when mine was in the shop, and I noticed a group of teenage boys come in. Next thing I knew one was brandishing what looked like a handgun, and laughing with a friend. I realized they were between me and the exit. The librarian did not seem to notice anything, and kept working at her desk. I stared hard at her, and she looked back. I motioned my head towards the kids. If I had had a cell phone I would have called 911, but I don't carry one. She went over, and talked to them. Apparently the gun was black plastic, but it looked real. They were being quite loud, and laughing a lot. She asked them to leave. They did not go far, and put their bikes up against a library picture window, and continued to make a lot of noise. The Library staff did nothing about this. I waited for them to leave, then left myself, and have hardly been back to the library since, except to pick up the odd book I had them order for me on interlibrary loan.

All things considered, I am just not comfortable there, and don't take my Grandchildren either. We go to a neighbouring village where it seems to be better, but there could be many of the same type in there, and as long as they are quiet, how would I know. If it is just a lot of women and little kids, I feel better, but I am always alert now, and watching what other people are doing. I guess you have to be that way in almost any public place these days. It just seemed so much more innocent when I was a kid. My parents never worried about me going to the library alone and spending time there. I really enjoyed it too.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871180 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 10:21 AM
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Hi Nancy,
I have done a complete turnaround about where to live. Reality bites and I want to be closer to my daughter and grandkids so I have chosen to look at Salem. I know the town. It's close to the commuter rail and only takes 28 minutes to get into the North End of Boston. They have
good restaurants and a library.
We signed our contract to sell our apartment and now the search begins.
The whole purpose in moving was to be close to family and Newburyport was a full hour's drive from family. Salem is much more affordable than Newburyport and I see lots of places that we can afford, not so in Newburyport.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871183 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 10:30 AM
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My parents never worried about me going to the library alone and spending time there. I really enjoyed it too.

I totally agree with you. I remember going to the library alone and I was under 12 years of age. It was also about a mile away and I had to cross some very big and busy streets. Oh, and this was in Brooklyn too but an entirely different neighborhood than I live in now.
Now I am 64 years old, live in what is supposed to be a fantastic neighborhood and I am afraid to go to the library alone.
Libraries used to be peaceful quiet places to go. Not anymore. I think the staff is afraid to speak up for fear of reprisals. My husband and I were on the NY City subway a few weeks ago and a group of teens entered the subway, cursing, screaming, saying disgusting things, talking about pistols, etc. Both my husband and I sat quietly and tried not to make eye contact.
We were scared. Maybe it's because we are now "senior citizens" but I find that I do not want to spend my golden years being afraid of out of control people. Life's just too darn short at my age.

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871189 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 11:28 AM
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"I used a library form to complain about the lack of a rule which would protect library patrons from this kind of health hazard."

You don't know that it was a health hazard. There are a LOT of reasons a person might be coughing that are not in any way contagious.

He might just have a scratchy throat or allergies that cause the coughing.

As others have said, if you don't like it, you can leave.

When you are using public facilities, you don't get to make the rules.

If you want to make the rules, PAY for internet access and use the computer in your own house.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871193 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 12:27 PM
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I have chosen to look at Salem. I know the town.

Salem is a fascinating place (where one of my ancestors built the town's dullest house). Beware of October. The tourists are stacked ten deep and the excursion trains keep bringing in more.

I think there will be a better assortment of places available in Salem. And Gloucester and Rockport aren't far away.

Nancy

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871197 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 1:15 PM
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Thanks Nancy.
My daughter lives close by and says it takes an hour to get through town in October. I know the town a bit so we are not going into unfamiliar territory, thank goodness. We will stay at a hotel in the center of town when we house hunt in a few weeks.
I am looking forward to a new life. Husband's last day of work is today. Big change for him. Even bigger for me when he decides he would
like to accompany me to the grocery store!!!!

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871198 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 1:21 PM
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My husband and I were on the NY City subway a few weeks ago and a group of teens entered the subway, cursing, screaming, saying disgusting things, talking about pistols, etc. Both my husband and I sat quietly and tried not to make eye contact.

A generation or 2 ago, any male teenagers in that bunch would've been just a couple years away from being shipped off to Vietnam - no reason to be boastful about pistols if your government is ready to shove a military rifle into your hands.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871203 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 3:30 PM
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A generation or 2 ago, any male teenagers in that bunch would've been just a couple years away from being shipped off to Vietnam - no reason to be boastful about pistols if your government is ready to shove a military rifle into your hands.

Exactly! My husband was a paratrooper during the Vietnam War but was sent to Alaska instead. They lost his paperwork. That saved his life, for sure. His brother and 3 of our best friends all served in the military and were sent to Vietnam.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871207 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 4:19 PM
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<<A polite, "Do you need a cough drop?" or, "Here's a tissue to help cover your mouth," or something (if you have one to offer) might be better.

>>


My doctor's office has signs posted asking that people with coughs wear a mask in the office --- which people can take as they walk in.

Doing the same thing at libraries, or having staff offer masks to coughers might be a good plan.


Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871208 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 4:27 PM
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<<And before long you should expect to have formal and informal street gangs taking over libraries and intimidating other library patrons into leaving.


I am sure most people on this board think that what you are saying is far fetched. I beg to differ. The reality is that I rarely see my neighbors in the library anymore and there's a reason for that.
I was told by a neighbor that she orders her books online and stops by the library to pick them up when they are ready. No surprise that the pick up area is right by the front door.
Oh, we also used to have a permanent armed guard sitting at a desk by the front door. I guess he retired because his desk is gone and so is he.
>>



I read an article in the Las Angles Times a while ago about gangs taking over public pools. They were half drowning children until they got the idea that they weren't welcome at the pool any more by the gangs that decided who could swim and who was not welcome.


The pool managers apparently were about as impotent as library staff who can't act to protect patrons from abuse.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871209 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 4:30 PM
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<<I am happy to be moving.

If you can't find a house in Newburyport (and you've mentioned the trouble you've had so far) there's a nice little stretch of towns just south of there. Newbury, Essex, Rowley and Ipswich are all nice towns.

Hamilton (a bit further south) is pricy. Polo fields cost a lot to maintain.

Nancy
>>



Again, it's amusing to see people so anxious to protect the right of people to be vile and abusive that they prefer to see decent people forced to move.


MY preference is to kick out people who are abusive or nuisances and create a positive environment for everyone.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871211 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 5:00 PM
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Again, it's amusing to see people so anxious to protect the right of people to be vile and abusive that they prefer to see decent people forced to move.


We are moving to be closer to family. Even if we could afford to stay, I am too old to be frightened to go to the library or ride the subway.
Eight years ago when we first moved here I felt differently. Big difference between being in my mid 50's and now in my mid 60's.

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Author: kahunacfa Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871215 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/1/2013 11:30 PM
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The person across from me was coughing his lungs up with a hacking cough, repeated episodes every minute or two. He had nothing but his hand to prevent clouds of whatever was in his mouth and lungs to be expelled into the air.


I objected to him about this, which produced the excuse that he was putting his hand over his mouth.


I complained to the library staff, who said there was nothing they could do.

I used a library form to complain about the lack of a rule which would protect library patrons from this kind of health hazard. Then I left.


Any comments would be welcome. What responsibilities do libraries have to act against such nuisances?
- SeattlePioneer | Date: 1/29/2013 7:00:25 PM | Number: 871214


If anything hits you from the coughing that is assault. The police will assist with a telephone call.

Kahuna, CFA

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Author: BigKahoona Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871216 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/2/2013 10:06 AM
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If anything hits you from the coughing that is assault. The police will assist with a telephone call.


I just played this scene out in my mind and now I can't get the Theme from S.W.A.T. out of my head.

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Author: reader99 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871223 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/2/2013 12:51 PM
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I complained to the library staff, who said there was nothing they could do.

I used a library form to complain about the lack of a rule which would protect library patrons from this kind of health hazard. Then I left.

*******

It seems a bit odd after all the complaining you do here about the government interfering in people's life, you are looking for help from a government run establishment to interfere with someone else. :-)

*************


Gawd, I wish I could rec that more than once.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871227 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/2/2013 2:58 PM
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<<I would be free to use my free speech rights to talk to the offending individual and describe his personal baits, parentage and behavior in detail.

I'm sure my liberal friends would defend my free speech rights in that kind of situation...

So long as you WHISPER, you can say anything you please.

LWW

Shhh
>>


Well, I'm sure my liberal friends here would defend the right of library patrons to shout about their right to free speech in libraries as loudly as they can.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: BigKahoona Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871228 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/2/2013 3:05 PM
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Well, I'm sure my liberal friends here would defend the right of library patrons to shout about their right to free speech in libraries as loudly as they can.



Seattle Pioneer



You have liberal friends like Manti Te'o has girlfriends.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871229 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/2/2013 3:10 PM
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<<"I used a library form to complain about the lack of a rule which would protect library patrons from this kind of health hazard."

You don't know that it was a health hazard. There are a LOT of reasons a person might be coughing that are not in any way contagious.

He might just have a scratchy throat or allergies that cause the coughing.

>>




Keep this in mind the next time someone is bathing you with the contents of their mouth and lungs.

And keep in mind that they might also have an active case of tuberculosis.


Organizations need to be able to deal with nuisances of all kinds, and to make, adopt and enforce reasonable rules to protect people from nuisances and hazards.


<<As others have said, if you don't like it, you can leave. >>


Yes, and if unpleasant and hazardous conditions aren't remedied, a lot of people WILL quit using libaries, pools, community centers and such. You have people posting in this thread who no longer use their library because of such nuisances.

Perhaps that's the kind of society you wish to live in, but not me.


<<If you want to make the rules, PAY for internet access and use the computer in your own house.
>>


I'll bet you DO pay for internet service in your home, don't you? So you don't experience this kind of obnoxious behavior. If you did, I'll bet you would want something done about it.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: snippee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871230 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/2/2013 5:41 PM
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Keep this in mind the next time someone is bathing you with the contents of their mouth and lungs.

And keep in mind that they might also have an active case of tuberculosis.



OR: A dry throat caused by non-contagious allergies.


Yes, and if unpleasant and hazardous conditions aren't remedied, a lot of people WILL quit using libaries, pools, community centers and such. You have people posting in this thread who no longer use their library because of such nuisances.


OR: They'll continue to carry on because the overall experience is a net positive.


Look, we can play what-ifs all day. Other than having disposable masks at the door with a request for would-be coughers to cover up, you haven't given any realistic solutions to this, dare i say, "problem" you seem keen on inventing. Please explain how you can deputize library workers to know who is spreading the plague and who is merely clearing his throat repeatedly because some cracker crumbs got stuck in there.

I'm not suggesting it wasn't a nuisance, what you experienced, nor am i suggesting that true public health hazards should be ignored. I'm suggesting yours was a *singular* experience and while it's fine to start a measured discussion on potential snowball effects, you're moving into absurd territory without a lot of support for your arguments.

You live in Seattle which has two - TWO! - of the country's (if not the world's) best library systems. There will be the occasional rude patron or inept employee or lone branch that falls short and certainly there's plenty of germ-sharing, egregious or not. For the most part, though, they kick ASS and i'm not sure what else they can reasonably do to make you a believer. I'm thinking you need to adjust your expectations because if the SPL or KCLS get you this stabby, you're in for a world of hurt when you see what else is out there.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871242 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/3/2013 11:21 AM
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You have people posting in this thread who no longer use their library because of such nuisances.


A stabbing is not a nuisance like someone coughing in your face.
Two homeless men getting "into it" in the library and a stabbing occurs is a whole other ballgame entirely.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871251 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/3/2013 4:25 PM
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<<I'm not suggesting it wasn't a nuisance, what you experienced, nor am i suggesting that true public health hazards should be ignored. I'm suggesting yours was a *singular* experience and while it's fine to start a measured discussion on potential snowball effects, you're moving into absurd territory without a lot of support for your arguments.

>>


If you go back and read my opening post on this thread, you'll see that I did pretty much what you suggest.

I was looking for reasonable ways to deal with a nuisance, and my action was to complain to the library management.

A second remedy that I later suggested was to use the tactic of a doctor's office and for library management to offer a mask for coughers.


Personally, I think your comments above are reasonable and measured. You recognize and acknowledge nuisances of the kind I described.

My real issue is with those who prefer to ignore nuisances and would be content to have those creating nuisances be able to drive others out of using public facilities. That is a VILE attitude and public policy, in my opinion.

And yes, the Seattle and King County library systems are generally very good. My p[reference is to KEEP them that way by not allowing nurisance people to dominate these facilities.


Seattle Pioneer

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Author: snippee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871254 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/3/2013 6:24 PM
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My real issue is with those who prefer to ignore nuisances and would be content to have those creating nuisances be able to drive others out of using public facilities. That is a VILE attitude and public policy, in my opinion.


I think it's our collective mindset that needs to change - we have to make our health a priority and stay home when we're sick. And we have to support people who stay home when they're sick instead of making them feel like they're slacking off. And we have to stop canonizing people who come into work/school when they're at death's door. And we have to assume that most people aren't gaming the system, even when they take a day or two or more to recover from an illness.

We have a short-term outlook in this country and the problems that stem from it are really starting to come out.

But as for how, exactly, to get our mindsets to change? I don't know the best way to incentivize behaviors that would lead to that. I have my own big picture (and, yes, liberal) theories - health care for all, realistic sick leave policies, education, education and more education. Eventually mindsets can change and people here will have the same thought - "Since I'm sick but need to run to the pharmacy for my medicine, I'll cover my mouth with this mask so I don't infect others" - more often than not, as in other countries.

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871262 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/3/2013 8:10 PM
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And we have to stop canonizing people who come into work/school when they're at death's door.

No kidding!

Fortunately, I think a lot of schools have done away with the "Perfect Attendance" awards. That just made sick kids come to school to keep their "streak" going.

One group that I worked in had a few engineers over 70 and one that was 80. Our manager enforced a policy of making folks go home if they were either too sick to work or had something contagious. The rationale is that something like bronchitis could be bad for a 30 year old and fatal to an 80 year old.

One of the challenges to getting sick people to stay home is that for many people who get paid leave there isn't any distinction between time off for vacation or for illness. So employees don't want to use up their hours that they're saving for a trip. I think places who separate the types of leave may get fewer people coming in sick.

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Author: MisterFungi Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871270 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/3/2013 10:12 PM
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I'm sure my liberal friends would defend my free speech rights in that kind of situation.

Hey, knock yourself out. But just keep it down, or I'll have to ask you to leave.

And, of course, universal health care would go a long way toward addressing the kind of public health problems that are being inflicted upon you.

Seriously, though: You live in Seattle, for Chrissakes. Why not get with the program and try taking a more empathetic approach to your fellow man? As others here have suggested, offer him a cough drop, or a tissue. Or at least ask him if he's okay?

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871280 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/4/2013 2:58 AM
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we have to support people who stay home when they're sick instead of making them feel like they're slacking off. And we have to stop canonizing people who come into work/school when they're at death's door. And we have to assume that most people aren't gaming the system, even when they take a day or two or more to recover from an illness.



That sounds suspiciously like you want us to turn into western Europe...



peace & commies
t

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871324 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/4/2013 4:06 PM
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<< Or at least ask him if he's okay?
>>



Perhaps I should have called 911 to report someone whose breathing was distressed.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: snippee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871328 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/4/2013 5:44 PM
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That sounds suspiciously like you want us to turn into western Europe...



It's like you know me!

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Author: MisterFungi Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871330 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/4/2013 7:35 PM
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Perhaps I should have called 911 to report someone whose breathing was distressed.

There ya go! You could use your Obamaphone.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871331 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/4/2013 7:45 PM
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My grandma lived in Brooklyn until she was almost 90. She took the subway, and went to libraries.

It's a choice - if you don't like it, don't go.

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Author: LaraAmber Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871333 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/4/2013 8:09 PM
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A second remedy that I later suggested was to use the tactic of a doctor's office and for library management to offer a mask for coughers.

A small problem here. When one is at the doctor's office we can assume that one is seeking treatment for a current medical problem that is causing the cough and is likely contagious. However if one is out and about in general society, that isn't necessarily true. Every few years I get a really bad cold or flu that moves into my lungs. I stop being contagious relatively quick, but it can take months for that cough to stop (and for pulled chest muscles to heal, sigh). I'm not going to wear a mask and draw attention to myself.

It's winter for crying out loud, you probably get more exposure at the grocery store.

Lara Amber

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Author: llamalluv Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871385 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/5/2013 4:03 PM
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It's not necessarily a health hazard.

I caught a cold near the end of my pregnancy with Charley, and on his first birthday, I *STILL* had a hacking cough that I could not control. Believe me, I tried to suppress it through both my C-section recovery and the recovery from my gall bladder surgery.

I'm sure that as annoying as it was for everyone around me, it was way more miserable for me.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871427 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/6/2013 4:41 PM
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<<However if one is out and about in general society, that isn't necessarily true. Every few years I get a really bad cold or flu that moves into my lungs. I stop being contagious relatively quick, but it can take months for that cough to stop (and for pulled chest muscles to heal, sigh). I'm not going to wear a mask and draw attention to myself.

>>


I think that is rude behavior.



If I were your boss, I would want to see a letter from a doctor that a persistant, hacking cough was not a health hazard to others, and if I got such a note I'd send an employee to a company doctor for a second opinion.

As you note yourself, this was severe enough to cause you persistant injury in the form of pulled muscles.


You probably belonged at home until you actually recovered from your illness.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: toberead Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871428 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/6/2013 5:30 PM
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If I were your boss, I would want to see a letter from a doctor that a persistant, hacking cough was not a health hazard to others, and if I got such a note I'd send an employee to a company doctor for a second opinion.

Recent studies have shown that hacking coughs usually last 3 weeks after a cold. I doubt many employers would want their employees to stay home sick for 2-3 weeks every time they had a cold.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/14/us-cough-antibioti...

http://annfammed.org/content/11/1/5.full

You could go to the doctor and get a confirmation that the cough was benign, but since most coughs last more than 2 weeks (the average was 17.8 days) and there's really nothing the doctor can do about it, that seems like a waste of medical resources.

Karen

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Author: StockGoddess Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871441 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/7/2013 10:15 AM
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Vouch

DH brought home a lovely virus from a trip about a month ago and he still has the cough. Usually you're not contagious once the fever breaks.

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 871516 of 883954
Subject: Re: Rules For Libraries Date: 2/9/2013 1:51 PM
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"Keep this in mind the next time someone is bathing you with the contents of their mouth and lungs.

And keep in mind that they might also have an active case of tuberculosis."

Yeah, they might have turberculosis.

More likely, it was a common cold (no big deal), allergies (not a threat at all) or maybe emphysema, lung cancer, or any one of hundreds of other non-communicable diseases that can cause a cough (also not a threat).


"Organizations need to be able to deal with nuisances of all kinds, and to make, adopt and enforce reasonable rules to protect people from nuisances and hazards."

Clearly, you were the only one in a panic about this. Other people probably ignored the guy (most) or just moved away.

"Yes, and if unpleasant and hazardous conditions aren't remedied, a lot of people WILL quit using libaries, pools, community centers and such. You have people posting in this thread who no longer use their library because of such nuisances."

I doubt it.

"I'll bet you DO pay for internet service in your home, don't you? So you don't experience this kind of obnoxious behavior. If you did, I'll bet you would want something done about it."

I'm not a whiner. I'd probably not even pay any attention to the guy.

At most, I'd MOVE.

And yes, I pay for my internet so I don't have to become a PITA at the library...

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