LIBRARY INTERNET WILL BE UNAVAILABLE WHILE OUR SERVICE PROVIDER DOES MAINTENANCE AT THESE DATES AND TIMES:
12/05/2015 @ 10pm EST -- 12/06/2015 @ 2am EST
12/12/2015 @ 10pm EST -- 12/13/2015 @ 2am EST
UPDATE ON LIBRARY INCIDENT
BY LISA SAMMIT, LIBRARY DIRECTOR
I want to let people know that we have served a No Trespass order on the man concerned in the incident on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 and he will not be allowed into the library again. I, and my staff, never ignored the complaints. We needed to have a legal reason to bar him from the library. There is a legal difference between viewing pornography and a "lewd and lascivious act". Since Athena Bandit filed a complaint for this incident we had a legal basis to get the No Trespass order.
I had to put a No Trespass order on another patron a few years ago and that person sued me, the Hardwick Police, and others. It was costly to the town as the Town Lawyer had to defend me and the other Hardwick personnel named in the suit. It is not an easy thing to legally bar a person from a public building.
I regret that I wasn't the person working on Saturday because I would have talked to him and told him to leave. I have spoken to him many times about his viewing habits. However, he never did anything illegal in my presence or in front of my staff.
We will be doing training on this both in house and with a workshop that the VT Department of Libraries will put on for area librarians who all face this same issue.
We don't have privacy in our library because we don't have enough room. We thought that the open viewing situation of the computers would deter people from visiting distasteful sights right out in the open. For this man it didn't. I spoke to him many times about it. So, it was my fault was in not deciding to do something about the set-up of the computers since he persisted in coming into the library.
I will be changing the way the computers are stationed. For the wired computers we are buying 2 new tables, put two computers on each table with the back of the monitor toward the door and put privacy screens on the computers. Only adults will use these. We can only fit 4 computers in this space so we will go from having 6 wired public access computers to 4. We will buy a folding table that we will put up for children. We have 4 extra laptops that can access the Internet through our wireless which the children will use. These will have filtering devices on them.
Adults using their own devices come in. Where to put them? In the room that serves as a youth room and also a reading area for adults? Or should we get rid of a lot of book stacks in the adult materials area so we can put a table for adults to use?
I hope you can see that we are very limited in our choices.
My Trustees and I looked into rehabilitating the cellar to use as a youth room but it would cost well over $200,000.00. We would have to put in two new sets of stairs as the current egresses do not meet code. The whole building would have to have a sprinkler system. We'd have to put in a ramp into the building and accessible toilets on both floors and an elevator as once you start to renovate a building you have to bring everything into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities ACT (ADA). It does not seem to be a good solution. My Trustees are working on a plan for an addition which would be comfortable and attractive and not put kids in a basement.
In retrospect we should have taken steps to rearrange all the computers, buy new tables, privacy screens, etc. and segregate the children from the adults.
I hope that instead of people declaring that the library should be closed, or the funding cut or not to give any donations to the library, that instead you could help us go forward. We need people to join committees and volunteer at the library to help us in our endeavors.
My staff and I and my Trustees are all good people. The library is a safe place. We all make mistakes and we can all learn from them.I hope you find it possible to forgive me for my mistakes.
Lisa Sammet, Library Director
Library's Response to Saturday's Event
Patrons and staff in the Jeudevine Public Library experienced an unfortunate event last Saturday. It involved a citizen allegedly committing an obscene act while watching a website that many would find inappropriate on a library computer. A concerned patron informed the staff about these actions and was not satisfied with our staff’s response. The Library Board of Trustees and Library Director became aware of this incident through a posting by the patron on Front Porch Forum Sunday night. We immediately began an investigation.
We deeply regret that this happened in our beautiful library and have banned the individual through legal means from entering our facility because of his actions. Through all avenues available to us, we are focusing on eliminating the possibility of a similar occurrence in the future. Considerable resources have been brought in to address this incident, including the Library Board of Trustees, the Hardwick Police Department and Town Manager, along with advice from the Vermont Department of Libraries.
Public libraries generally follow the American Library Association (ALA) guidelines in providing services to patrons without censorship under the free speech provision of the First Amendment. Therefore, we do not refuse patrons the right to view whatever they want on the internet. The personal feelings of our staff are not brought into the service of our patrons.
The small size of our library makes it difficult to effectively separate the computer area from the children’s room, but we are going to do it. We will reconfigure the computer area, designating it as an adult space with enhanced screening for privacy. We will specify a juvenile-only table in the children’s area with computers.
We have been in contact with Michael Roche of the Vermont Department of Libraries who will present a workshop to local librarians and staff on legal responsibilities of librarians, handling problem patrons, inappropriate behavior in a public place, and patron concerns. We are reviewing and updating emergency and safety policies with our staff and volunteers.
The Jeudevine Library has been a vital part of Hardwick and surrounding communities since 1896. We have strived to adjust to the ever-changing demands of the internet age and the rapid changes of social culture. Libraries now offer services to people that were unimaginable not too many years ago. Libraries must balance between the demands of the First Amendment and community social values.
The Jeudevine staff has given its heart and soul to provide the best service possible with limited means and, most particularly, very limited space. We join with our community in wishing for and helping to provide the best and safest environment for everyone.
Our First Movement and Music Event!
Special Drum Program for Preschoolers
DATE: Monday, November 30
TIME: 10 a.m.
PLACE: Jeudevine Memorial Libary
Come make drums with Jan Sebon and Emily Lanxner! This is the kick-off of our new preschool music and movement program that will begin on Thursdays (after story time) starting January 7th.
Join Jan and Emily for a fun-filled morning of making and decorating your own personalized drum (and drum sticks) from recycled materials and wooden dowels. The workshop will conclude with a short drum circle to try out our new instruments!
The library received a grant of $1960 from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Northeast Kingdom Fund. The programs will be
geared toward preschool children, but all children are invited.
Originally from Haiti, Jan Sebon is a widely renowned composer, poet, and recording artist who has worked with children for many years in the Miami school system, as well as in Illinois and Wisconsin. He especially enjoys leading drum circles and singing folkloric songs from Haiti.
Emily Lanxner is Director of the Jeudevine Music School and PanAshé International. She is a multi-instrumentalist who teaches lessons and classes in the local community. She also enjoys creating special events featuring a broad range of cultural activities and performances. She recently received her Master’s Degree in steelpan performance from Northern Illinois University.
For more information, call the library at 472-5948.
Beginning November 30th
Watch for announcements about our new
MOVEMENT AND MUSIC morning
for kids from birth to 5 years!
"According to the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, one of
the ancient libraries he saw in Egypt carried above its entrance the words: 'Clinic of the Soul'.”
Summer Pierre teaches story timers the ins and outs of cartooning!
Tyler Molleur from the Hardwick Rescue Squad explains his job to story timers!
Summer Program: Police!
Hardwick Police Department Officer ChrisTetreault shared cool stuff about our police department, the jobs they do, and their equipment at story time. Kids and parents explored the cop car and Kathleen Sampson got cuffed! She got out herself!
Make Junk Instruments!
Kids and parents learning from Justin Lander of Modern Times Theater how to make musical instruments out of junk! Sitting on our new rug in the children's section.
Summer Program: FIre!
Story time with the Hardwick Fire Department. Roger Waible shows off the fire truck to kids and parents. What fun!
Books for Free at Three Local Community Resources
The Jeudevine Memorial Library is stocking a bookshelf in the Health Center, Dental Clinic and Food Pantry in Hardwick. Library Trustee Dave Gross keeps the shelves full with books for children and adults free for the taking by community members who are using these services.