I am an avid library user and believe that the library offers a strong connection to the community. The better the library the more positive home and neighborhood values. A strong library adds monetary worth to the area just as a strong school district. I also want to see to that the values of our library are strong and that it remains a safe and “family-oriented” location. A place where teens can meet up to study, or patrons drop in to learn from programs, or be merely entertained. A place where parents get what they expect for their tax dollars.
I bring a unique perspective, too. I am a former IT desk employee from the adult area. This is the area in controversy.
If I am welcomed onto the Board to fill Ms. Hillman’s seat, I hope to work with the current members and rectify the most recent issue that has been brought to light, the unfiltered internet access and the open access to porn in the library. The second issue I would bring up is their public relations. They need to put the brakes on their current crisis management-style, as all they have been doing is stirring the pot, instead of settling it. They unfortunately have been creating a PR nightmare as people that I know have asked me more and more about what goes on at the OPPL. Someone asked me recently about OPPL’s “other dirty secrets”. (For the record, the children and teen area computers are filtered, so they are free-from porn- well in a perfect world, anyway.)
People are simply shocked that Orland Park Library has allowed the porn, and chose to hide it from the public. Back in 2005 when I worked there and found out about the many porn watchers (who sat for HOURS on end) I wanted to go public and let taxpayers know, but was told by my then-boss, to drop it. The people that I have spoken to are outraged that the Director knew about this since the beginning and wanted it kept from the stakeholders. So, to make this a shorter answer, porn is #1 on the agenda to resolve. To filter, or not to filter, that is the question. But a strong no porn policy is a must! Porn has simply no informational value, and especially in a public forum. Most people would consider it obscene, and obscenity is NOT protected by Freedom of Speech, so what purpose does it serve in an open forum? The answer is none.
OPPL needs to completely change their PR. It is crucial at this point. Besides these two issues, the rest involves reviewing and updating (or creating new) library policies, budgets, curbing spending, customer service improvements, and the positive treatment of the current and future OPPL employees.
www.lindazec.com where you can find a link to my blog: Life According to Linda