(Editor’s note: After Circling the News ran two letters from Palisades Library patrons on July 13, two more were received which are below.)
We Have Stopped Using the Library:
As a young family we love the opportunity (especially in the warmer months) to use the community library. It’s a great place to cool off and read a few books after playing at the park. Over the past year we have stopped frequenting the library as a result of a few things-
- The homeless that live at the library seem to hold court in the entrance. For a while they were storing their stuff in the breezeway but now library staff is allowing them to leave their stuff on the side of the library. Boxes filled with trash, old books and food line the corridor… why is no one tasked to clean this? Let alone allow this?
They stare you down, loiter, smoke cigarettes, empty their trash in the parking lot. Just overall make just entering the library an unpleasant experience.
I’d love to know if sleeping on LAPL property is legal? Is it legal to loiter and store belongings on the property?
- The library staff is unfriendly, mask obsessed and unwelcoming. We are often scolded if we don’t wear our mask “correctly,” told the children’s section “echos” so to “keep it down” and barely acknowledged when we enter.
It’s no wonder the library is often empty… they’re not the friendliest group!
- Where is the board? Where are The Friends of the Library? Is there anyone who can take charge here and restore such a special part of our community? Welcome back weekly story time for the kids, encourage reading and laughter in the children’s area, maybe get a weekly music class going on the patio with some umbrellas?
It’s a real shame what’s going on at the library… action should be taken quickly before it gets too out of hand.
Friends of the Library Responds:
The serious issues raised in CTN regarding library patron safety are of utmost concern to the Pacific Palisades Library Association (The Friends of the Library). It is an untenable situation when library patrons do not feel safe and welcome when visiting the Palisades branch. Personally, I also believe that it is truly unfortunate that any homeless person feels that our local public library is their best refuge.
Of course, solving the problem of homelessness is beyond the day-to-day scope of the Friends but is something that all of us must work together to accomplish. Speaking personally, I believe the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness has been doing remarkable work and deserves our support as we seek solutions for this crisis. I would also hope that the problems on our doorstep need not divide us as a community but rather bring us together as we work to solve them.
The ways in which we can respond to these serious concerns will be at the top of the agenda for the Friends at our upcoming quarterly board meeting in August. The Friends remain committed to working to foster good will and understanding between the Palisades community and the Palisades branch. As an all-volunteer organization, we depend on the community’s continued support and input as we seek ways to address these very difficult issues.