Friday, April 3, 2015

Letter to the Editor Supports Sexually Harassed Librarians

Here's a published letter to the editor supporting sexually harassed librarians, "Neither patrons nor library employees should be forced to suffer with sexual activity of any kind in the OPPL," and urging new library trustees to take action to protect them from further harassment:

3 Steps to Fixing the OPPL

Dear Editor,

There are three simple steps that the Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees can take to make the library a safer place for children and families and fix the problems I have observed in this library in recent years.

First, the OPPL needs to install filters on its adult computers to block child pornography and other illegal content from being accessed and to prevent men from arousing themselves sexually in the adult computer area.  Neither patrons nor library employees should be forced to suffer with sexual activity of any kind in the OPPL.

Libraries such as those in Niles and Lemont have successfully eliminated this problem by blocking such sites on public computers.

A library is a taxpayer-funded facility for education and learning, and not a place for sexual activity of any kind.

Second, the OPPL should turn back to its mission statement and eliminate its outrageous food and jewelry purchases for staff.  Nowhere in the library's charter or mission statement does it state that the OPPL should be using taxpayer money to buy expensive treats or gifts for employees.  Yet, the OPPL maintains active purchasing accounts at the Orland Park Bakery and Noral Diamond Jewelers that provide no public benefit and should be immediately closed.  It is inexcusable to squander public money on expensive pastries and jewelry store purchases for highly-paid OPPL staffers who can afford to buy their own paczki and crystal bookends.

Third, the library's trustees need to come clean with the public about why police were not called when their own internal incident report shows that three witnesses reported to library staff that child porn was accessed in the OPPL.  The board has admitted that Library Director Mary Weimar did not call the police as she was required to do by their own policy.  This is especially troubling, because it appears that Weimar received no disciplinary action for this poor judgment and, in fact, was awarded raises that have brought her compensation package to $189,000 per year.  The woman who did not call the police when child porn was accessed in the OPPL is, thus, paid more than Orland Police Chief Tim McCarthy.

I have a problem with that and believe management and other personnel changes are needed to remedy ongoing safety and spending problems in the OPPL.  I urge the two new incoming trustees to take the three steps outlined above as soon as possible.

Megan Fox

Source:  "Letters to the Editor April 2, 2015," by Editor, Orland Park Prairie, 2 April 2015.  Republished with permission of Story Time Digital Media.

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