There was some doubt about the wisdom of crew of the destroyer/minesweeper for getting rid of their captain in The Caine Mutiny. I have less doubt about the need to oust Pat, the head librarian at the Bucks County Free Library Levittown PA Branch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Caine_Mutiny_(film
Like Captain Queeg in the Cain Mutiny, Pat is coming unglued. Lately she’s been up to her old tricks again, harassing the homeless and anyone who doesn’t fit her narrow idea of who belongs in the library.
About a week ago, she told a disabled man who visited the library that he couldn’t have his legal, service dog in the library. When he stood his ground, Pat remarked “we don’t do that here.” The man is challenging the librarian’s arbitrary and capricious misuse of authority, going through the system. This may be her Waterloo.
The battle of Waterloo was Napoleon’s final defeat, similar to Custer’s last stand. Likewise, the illegal banning of a service dog in the library may be this megalomaniac’s undoing, and she’ll get canned.
Recently, on at least two occasions, she confronted homeless people who were legally using the Wi-Fi on their mobile device. Pat told them they weren’t supposed to do that. When they explained they were just using the Wi-Fi, she said “OK” and walked away.
Like Captain Queeg, a career officer who had served admirably, Pat has done some good things for library patrons. There is a free electronic device service. I used it and was able to get my old laptop up to stuff. The technician ran scans, upgrades, etc., and gave me great advice. There’s also chair yoga, which helped me loosen my joints and muscles, breathe better, relax and generally improve my health.
But Pat is obsessed with her authority and acts as though the library is her own place, welcoming whom she pleases. And she is the equivalent of Captain Queeg rolling steel ball bearings in his hands.
On one occasion, when I was on my cell phone in the official cell phone area, on hold, tired of waiting I uttered, in a slightly more than moderate volume, two words: “come on.” Pat passed by and turned to me and sternly told me I have to keep the noise down.
On another occasion, as I was quietly talking to a homeless friend in a lounging section of the library, Pat burst through an office door and stammered “this conversation is getting heated, you better do something, like read a book…” I asked her “what is your problem?” After she went in the office, I told someone “she’s an A-hole”. In Kafkaesque fashion, one of the librarians Augustly said “are you leaving?”
“No”, I said.
I was getting ready to take a woman with COPD and others to a community dinner, and I walked over to the computers to get directions. Pat followed me. She agreed to let me look up directions, but then I had to leave. After I got the directions, I walked over to pick up those who wanted to go to the meal.
“Are you leaving?”, a librarian again said Augustly.
“I’m waiting for my friends,” I replied. As the homeless woman with COPD slowly started to get up, a librarian ordered “you have to leave now.”
“Excuse me”, I replied, “I don’t say ‘how high’ when you say ‘jump'”.
I confronted Pat about her harassing the homeless and about the double standard, where, when homeless people talk barely above a whisper they get told about it, while nothing is done about loud people and their screaming, bratty kids. She denied harassing the homeless and said she did do something about people and their loud screaming kids. Lie!
Pat called the police and held the phone, staring at the homeless woman with COPD and I until we exited the library.
On yet another occasion, the homeless woman with COPD sat reading a book. Pat told the woman that she has to do something in the library, not just hang out there.
The latest is a letter a homeless man was given, banning him from the library for about a week, which came from somewhere in the Bucks County library system. I plan to explore this.
Some people are looking into filing a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
There is a county wide initiative to ban the homeless from the library, just because they are homeless. An official from the local Salvation Army told me that people have complained about the homeless being in the library – that they don’t like them there. She gave me bogus reasons.
A friend overheard someone at a meeting in the library ask “What about the question people have about the homeless making the library their hangout?”
“Pat’s taking care of that,” was the reply.
Part of the problem is that all the homeless people who visit the library are grouped with the druggies from the recovery houses who have become homeless. There is also a stereotype that homeless people have mental problems.
The bourgeois in Bucks County look down their noses at the homeless.
True, there have been problems in the homeless community, just like anywhere else, but they have been resolved. For instance, there had been drama at the community meals, often fueled by liquor. For some time, the meals have been drama free. Not only that, but have been a venue for great fellowship, with the guests and hosts having wonderful conversations!
Another Queeg like quirk Pat displayed is having the homeless bus stop torn down and replacing it with a sign “Emergency Assembly Area.”
Penndel Mental Health Center has been exploiting the idea that homeless people are mentally ill, and have been trying to tap into the public funding the homeless get to employ pork barrel tactics to bring them into the nuthouse.
I have an idea. Round up the homeless and corral them at the emergency assembly area. Then a 60’s VW bus from Penndel Mental Health Center, with psychedelic painting, would pick them up. As the bus approaches, the homeless would head to the emergency assembly area like the zombies in The Time Machine. Instead of hearing sirens, the homeless would hear the Beatle’s song Magical Mystery Tour.
“All aboard the magical mystery tour; step right this way.”
“ La la. The magical mystery tour. La la. The magical mystery tour. The magical mystery tour is waiting to take you away. Take you away. Take you today.”
“ You don’t need an invitation (the magical mystery tour). On Alan’s clipboard we’ll put your invitation…”