Re: Article By Sarah Bissonette titled, Safety concerns at Foley Library, published in Parry Sound Beacon Star on August 17.
Break-ins occurred at the Foley Branch Library on June 19, 2012 and July 18, 2012. Inappropriate use of the internet occurred on July 11, 2012. The CEO of Seguin Public Libraries was informed of the June 19 break-in the same day but did not pass the information along to the Library Board. The July 18 break-in and inappropriate use of the internet were reported to the CEO and Library Board chair John Flynn on July 18. These break-ins were also reported to the township within 24 hours of their occurrences.
Upon investigation, the police deemed the building to be an unsafe environment for a person working alone.
Hence, to ensure the safety of the summer student, the patrons and children using the library, the librarian took it upon herself to be at the library Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays so the summer student was not alone in the building. She arranged for members of the community to check the library on the days she was not able to be there, namely Mondays and Fridays. She also changed the entranceway to make sure no one could enter and lurk in the upstairs Activity Centre.
At no time has the Library Board or township offered or provided any support, suggestions or additional security for the safety of the staff and patrons of the Foley Branch Library. The township did however add a dead bolt to one of the doors, which however, was at the request of the librarian and certainly not from any initiative from the Library Board or township.
Mr. Flynn’s suggestion that township staff using “that workplace next door” or “the fire station next door” could “keep an eye on the environs of the library” is ludicrous especially considering for the most part the patrons and staff are inside the building, not outside. “That workplace next door” as he refers to it, is not staffed and seldom used in the summertime. The fire station is also not staffed and the library is nearly a country block away and not visible from the fire station. After a concerned member of the public contacted the Ministry of Labour a compliance order was issued August 15, 2012 to the Township of Seguin citing four infractions.
The first occurrence took place June 19, 2012. The article in the paper to which I am referring, appeared in the Beacon Star August 17, 2012 and again the only action the Library Board has taken thus far is to hold meetings to discuss what they need to do and should have done months ago.
Paul C. Scott
Friends of Foley Library