10 year old girl molested in St. Paul Library

A terrible crime was perpetrated against a child in a St. Paul Library. A library spokesperson noted that "[O]ur libraries are still safe places for children to be."

The child who used a locked basement bathroom after obtaining a key from a library staff member in this safe library, was brutally attacked by the disgusting pedophile. The child reported the criminal assualt to library staffers who released the public computers to police officers after they obtained a search warrant.

The librarian staff's concern for the little girl as demonstrated by their vigilance in making sure someone didn't follow her into the bathroom, and their swift response to her notification of the assault are noted... well not in the article linked above, nor in this article nor this one, nor this one.

It is not noted in this article either, although a parent wonders "Such a small library, I just thought wow, the people at the desk can't even notice that a pervert is loitering when everything is right in front of you."

Good going there St. Paul Library staff. They Director made it quite clear that they do not babysit children - you know the same director who later in the week announced that they are looking forward to the upcomming convention and have special programming.

They know they have security problems as the PIO for the library noted "The Riverview branch doesn't have surveillance cameras yet, Savage said. Some branches have cameras, and all are getting them, she said," according to this report.

So this safe library, that locks it bathrooms yet gives the key to small children without thinking twice that some pervert may be following her, knows it lacks security cameras and thus has a security problem.

It is a safe library after all, heck they probably have a sign prohibiting child molesters right by the front door.

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Ignorance is Not Bliss

This is evidence that the world is a dangerous place. We all have to be aware of our surroundings. It is our job to notice things that don't seem right or seem out of place and to investigate a bit. There are many times that we will be wrong and it is nothing. The few times or even the one time we are right we will save someone heartache. It is when we are too busy to notice or take a few extra minutes to be sure of the safety of others that disaster seems to strike. I am not saying we can stop everything but we can truly work to avoid things that can be stopped.

And There May Be More Problems

And there may be more problems.

1) The security camera being proposed. Big deal. A boy was raped in the New Bedford Public Library in Massachusetts and the library director said the security camera got a picture of the rape but no one was looking at the screens because nothing ever happens. Coincidentally, that story was in an ALA publication, the first one to tie in the use of a filter bypassed computer to the crime, and only in direct response to my letter to the New Bedford governmental officials. Now here's St. Paul Public Library heading down that exact same path. See "ALA | American Libraries - Massachusetts Library Revisits Security after Child Molested."

2) I have blogged on this ("P-rn Viewer Molests Child in St Paul Public Library") and I see the library claims to be CIPA compliant. But is it? This is a question I ask and that needs to be addressed honestly, something that will require an independent investigation by a non-library source. Did the guy ask for the filters to be disabled? What is the process? Once disabled, is it anything goes in defiance of CIPA and US v. ALA? Etc. Naturally, even understandably, the media is silent on these questions. But the police search warrant should include this angle as well.

3) There's more. I'd like to see the people at that convention at least let others know they are aware of this St. Paul debacle.

4) I agree parents should not let children go unsupervised, but let's be practical and say even if supervised, a parent is likely to let certain children go potty by themselves. In New Bedford, the kid was raped within 10 feet of his mother one stack away. I see this "blame the parents" mantra every single time -- in some cases it's just cruel.

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http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

Government solves problems?

Hmmm, I don't think the role of the government is to solve problems at all. I kind of think the Preamble to the Constitution really sums up the role of government, and it should be no more than that.

Sure, the parents should have taken their child to the bathroom. However the library staff insists on calling their library safe when they know it is not.

If they shut their mouths about the pending installation of the security cameras they would have saved themselves from a lawsuit for knowingly maintaining inadequate security. They know children are not safe, they lock the bathrooms, the say they need cameras, yet they insist they are safe.

Tree- forest, I could really care less. I only want children to not have to worry about perverts. I could care less if the library passes out pornography and has satanic rituals at the circ desk, as long as children are protected from the vile scum so common in our country these days.

Parents who leave young children alone in the library have failed them, libraries have long said they can'y babysit children, but they know full well that most people in this country take no personal responsibility and libraries have to be prepared for unattended children. A quick call to the police to locate the parents would be effective, but if they are not going to do that each time they encounter an unaccompanied child, they need to be prepared to protect them.

As long as we a society allow the proper raising of our children to be foisted off on others - schools, per-and post school care, daycare, friends or relatives, we have failed these children.

It does not take a village, as some would have you believe, it takes parents- and unfortunately many parents are too self absorbed to be bothered.

Typical

I worked in a university library for many years, and parents were ALWAYS dumping their kids off there. And we weren't even a public library. The situation got so bad we had to finally hire security guards. I don't understand what is wrong with some parents. I would never drop my kid off at say, a grocery store, or Borders unattended. Why the hell do people think librarians should be babysitters?

Because they are self-absorbed idiots

However, libraries often times do not do enough to discourage this. I think calling the cops each time a young unattended child is encountered might solve the problem, however that might upset the parents and make them feel unwelcome. Quite the damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

That puts the library in the precarious position of having to protect children, something at which it is not very good.

Libraries should not have to protect children, but until such time as we as a society stop worrying about offending the parents of unattened children by calling the cops the library will have to act in loco parentis.

There are organized, supervised activites for children of which parents could avail themselves, however that would require planning and we all know that lazy, self absorbed people don't plan. They just drop their children off at the library because it is free and easy.

Unfortunately the children are the victims of their parent's failures, and the perverts whom we coddle in this society. God forbid we offend either.

follow-ups

The librarian staff's concern for the little girl as demonstrated by their vigilance in making sure someone didn't follow her into the bathroom, and their swift response to her notification of the assault are noted... well not in the article linked above, nor in this article nor this one, nor this one. etc. etc. etc. etc. ...

When the SPPL asks the taxpayers for a 15% budget increase to have a child monitor / security officer or to add more professional staff, plus a levy for cameras and other security equipment ... who here thinks that protect the children crowd will turn into the I hate taxes crowd faster than you can say "tax increases for veterans benefits."

And why vent your spleen at the library staff? What was that child doing in the bathroom, or near the bathroom, by herself? Where the hell was her parent or guardian?

Do you want the government to solve everyone's problems for them?

If a tree falls in a forest, does mdoneil blame the nearest branch library or ALA councilor?

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