A Library Patron Observes His Surroundings and Finds Many Reasons to Complain

From the über-conservative American Spectator. Posted by Daniel J. Flynn on Friday Mar 29th at 5:09am

"Today’s public library could be mistaken for a halfway house, homeless shelter, or federal penetentiary."

I write from the public library, which doubles as my city’s daytime homeless shelter. I spend four hours a day there reading and writing. Other patrons, often accompanied by all of their worldly possessions, go there to sleep, masturbate, and stare blankly at the lights. Isn’t this what the local Greyhound terminal is for?

A diversion program for juvenile delinquents apparently meets daily on the first floor. Since the building’s architect imprudently designed the library as a giant open space without walls, their promiscuous use of the “f” word and spirited imitations of famous rappers travel unimpeded to me on the third level — more of a platform two stories above the ground than a separate floor. To encourage such misbehavior, a local library — thankfully not the one I visit — begged its town’s government for $2,000 to buy video games. Libraries once served as refuges against noise. Now the library’s cacophony makes an iPod necessary equipment to drown out the din.

Openness yields to secretiveness elsewhere. Computer cubicles double as makeshift peep-show booths. To protect privacy at the public library, staff has generously equipped computer screens with a tinted gloss that makes the visuals invisible to all save those who look upon them at a direct angle. I mostly glimpse social media and computer games on the screens when I pass. Occasionally, pornographic videos jump out at passersby. Noticing the behavior, rather than the behavior itself, is terribly offensive, so I make it my business to mind my business around pervs who make their business everybody’s business.

More.

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