Picnics and unattended children have no place in Howard County libraries [Letter]

August 15, 2013

I will spare you the background info on my residency here and my allegiance to and support for Howard County libraries. Suffice it to say, it's lengthy and solid.

I love books. I read them often in the library — Central Library, which has become disappointing. Chatter on the cell. How do I know? I hear them. Everybody hears them.

Children. Candy. Sticky fingers. Grrrrrh. They, like the adults, print without paying. Kids are dropped off and left. I'm sure you're aware and probably feel for them. I feel for them. But they are not my children. And this is not your problem. It is a social services problem.

The kicker came recently when a man set up a picnic spread. Chocolate cake, strawberries, coffee, lemonade and a sandwich. Ear phones, laptop and iPod; he engaged in loud and merry chatter. Napkins, straws, coffee and lemonade strewn on his table. Irate and disgusted I snapped a picture that Jay Leno would love.

I give Valerie Gross accolades for Miller but not Central.

Where are the keepers of the rules? You know 10 cents after the first five sheets? No eating in the library? Keep your voices down? And where are the librarians? They are not in the stacks. Nobody's in the stacks because nobody's reading books these days. They're all on the computer or on the phone or having a picnic, on taxpayer's dime, my dime.

I've complained but I get this "dizzy" expression that says: "What's your problem lady? Don't you know this is a community center where folks can come and ... well ... just do whatever. Just chill. Have a sandwich."

Retrain the staff or just dispose of the bloody rules and give this place a name more befitting: Columbia Community Recreation Center.

Sondra Jordan


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