Jan. 29—The ImagineIF Library in Kalispell has seen a dramatic improve in safety points over the previous a number of months, in keeping with library employees. To take care of the scenario, library trustees are anticipated to contemplate options at a particular assembly on Monday.
Public Providers Librarian Tony Edmundson addressed the board throughout its common assembly on Thursday telling them the incident stories he has been submitting are occurring extra usually and turning into extra extreme in nature. Workers often must bar folks from library use in the event that they break guidelines or act inappropriately.
“I’ve had extra threats of bodily violence — in direction of patron to patron or to employees. Yesterday, I made one non-emergency legislation enforcement name and two 911 calls. I’ve trespassed extra folks within the final six months than I’ve my 16 years earlier than that,” Edmondson stated.
The assembly on Monday takes place within the downstairs convention room of the Kalispell library at 3:30 p.m. The agenda for the assembly consists of library board motion on a possible contract with a safety agency and dialogue on the protection and safety suggestions.
Edmundson thanked employees for his or her willingness to go to security trainings and look out for one another on the job. However regardless of being educated, it is annoying and troublesome for library employees to behave as “social employees or safety guards on a close to every day foundation,” when their job is to facilitate library companies, he famous.
“It’s taking an incredible period of time. The scenario because it stands, the phrase that I hear continually is ‘that is untenable.’ I spend greater than half of my time proper now coping with safety and security,” Edmondson stated.
The rise in incident stories look like associated to a rising homeless presence.
At a packed Kalispell Metropolis Council assembly on Jan. 23, Library Board Chair Doug Adams voiced his help for laws the town is contemplating relating to use of park services. The draft ordinances would, if accepted, would place limits on private property, constructions and cumulative time spent in parks services.
Adams spoke in favor of the ordinances and agreed with a current letter from Flathead County Commissioners that positioned blame on homeless shelters and outreach organizations for enabling folks to “be a part of the homeless way of life.” He requested Council to contemplate increasing the ordinances to different elements of the town so as to ease the problems occurring on the library.
DURING DISCUSSION at Thursday’s assembly, Trustee Carmen Cuthbertson introduced up a earlier thought to solely enable card holders to enter the library.
However, Edmondson stated he’s in opposition to the concept as a result of it could create limitations for folks to make use of library companies. He stated to be honest, library employees must heart folks’s conduct as a marker for whether or not or not they are often within the library.
On the request of the board, Library Director Ashley Cummins defined that changed library playing cards may very well be used to find out who’s utilizing the library. At present, a library card is just not required to entry computer systems. Due to this, library employees typically have hassle figuring out individuals who do not observe guidelines as a result of they don’t seem to be registered with the library in any means.
“There have been instances after we’ve needed to trespass folks and we didn’t know their title. We need to name the police, we need to completely trespass this particular person, however we do not know who they’re. We have seen them 4 instances this week, however we do not know who they’re. In order that’s only one step,” Cummins stated.
Hiring a safety guard was additionally mentioned. Cummins stated the estimate for hiring a safety guard is $35 per hour for an unarmed guard and upwards of $45 an hour for an armed guard.
Cummins and Trustee Jane Wheeler spoke in opposition to having a safety guard who’s armed with a gun. Cummins stated she would have an interest in the event that they had been as an alternative armed with mace. Adams additionally recommended a Taser instead.
As a result of the choice to rent personal safety may be too expensive to have all day on the library, Cummins recommended that it could be most wanted within the afternoon after they get the best variety of incident stories. This may additionally enable the guard to do a sweep of the constructing at closing and stroll employees to their automobiles if wanted — one other huge concern Edmondson introduced as much as the board.