LETTERS: Regarding the Library Situation

(Editor’s note: After Circling the News ran two letters from Palisades Library patrons on July 13, two more were received which are below.)

This photo to the entrance to the library was taken July 14 around 9:20 a.m.

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-

  1. 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?

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

A Patron

As campers are greeted for the bus ride to camp (youth in blue), the homeless woman is passed out/sleeping on the bench in front of the library.

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.

Laura Schneider

President, PPLA

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8 Responses to LETTERS: Regarding the Library Situation

  1. gilbert dembo says:

    Your doing a great job. The Palisades is a better place because of your words gil dembo PS friends st gate approved by ccc

  2. Susan Lynch says:

    I wrote to Mike Bonin and Noah Fleishman concerning this unacceptable situation. Who else do you suggest we send our observations to?

  3. Karen Howard says:

    Dear Laura Schneider ~
    The PPLA should be doing everything in its power to provide a welcoming atmosphere at the Palisades library for its Palisadian patrons. You are there to serve the library patrons, not the homeless individuals who take up residence around the building… there are other agencies whose job it is to do that. Please remember for what purpose you are there and who the library is there to serve.

  4. Lynne loeb says:

    Yes—what has happened to the library staff? The knowledgeable, helpful staff that used to be at Pali Library have been replaced with rude, unfriendly people who are not even competent in the most basic tasks (such as unlocking DVDs when checking them out for patrons so that they can actually be watched when taken home). There is no eye contact or pleasant greeting from anyone the front desk; they seem to be grudgingly granting a favor when assisting patrons. Is this a temporary staffing situation that will be remedied in future? One can only hope!
    Disappointed Patron

  5. claude goodrich says:

    I still LOVE our branch library; and Mary is always very helpful

  6. claude Goodrich says:

    … and our little branch library has a wonderful and very efficient system of interlibrary loans, a nice collection of books on tapes and CDs, a few current magazines and newspapers
    comfortable armchairs to browse quietly..
    a fun and nice little store manned by volunteers..
    good staff!
    all in all, I LOVE it.

  7. Henry Strauss says:

    If the locals want to get the attention of “the powers that be” whomever they are that are responsible to enforce the laws and clean up the homeless and the surrounding trash caused by same, I purport about 50 people put up their tents and camping gear, fire pits, etc. at the library parking lot, grassy area, all around. Turn the area in to a full on campground. “If camping rough is good for the goose, it’s good for the gander.” Maybe THAT would catch the eyes of law enforcement. Otherwise b*#%*ing and complaining on ND or CTN ain’t gunna do a darn thing.

  8. Brooke King says:

    As a former librarian, I say this is a situation. Librarians are not equipt to deal with this. We need to support them and our library. If the library is not the place you remember, an open safe place for everyone who wishes to research and investigate learning through whatever media is available, give. Please give to our libraries! https://lfla.org/become-a-member/

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