Friday, April 21, 2006

Holy Nastiness, Batman!

My SnB group has been looking for regular digs to hold our weekly meetings... read the following edited letter to see what happened today:

Library Manager
B- Library

Dear Sir and/or Madam:

My Knitting Group has been holding weekly meetings every Tuesday in your
library for over a year now. We have our usual sitting areas, but with the
knowledge that these spaces are not always available when we come in. On the
advice of some of the library employees, we looked into having a regular room
set aside for us. I came in on Friday, April 21st around 4:15pm and was directed
to the reference librarian in the Children’s section. I explained what our group
wanted to do and she quickly said that we would not be allowed as we were
neither a community group nor civic association (apparently the only two groups
allowed to have scheduled meetings at the library), and beyond that, even those
groups are only allowed meeting space once a month. I understand this, and while
disappointed, would have been willing to accept that reasoning. Then the
librarian said, “And besides, this sounds like something you should be doing in
someone’s house and certainly not in the library.”

I was shocked. I know the library has had other non-community or civic
association meetings in the past. I came home and checked the library’s schedule
and found weekly Writer’s Groups meetings and monthly Book clubs. How is our
group different? Why do we not qualify as a community group? We use the
library’s reference materials constantly. We have been given permission before
to put up signs inviting new people to our group and different library employees
have told us the library is planning a regular knitting group later this year to
teach people how to knit and asked us if we would like to help. If this is the
case, I don’t understand the librarian’s condescension. I love coming to your
library, but have never felt so unwelcome or unwanted.

If we are unable to sign up for a regular meeting spot, we will
continue to meet as we have been for the last year - in whatever space we can
find. I am writing this letter because I could not let your employee’s comment
go unanswered. If you need to speak to me, I can be reached at

Oh my, was I ever pissed. This woman was so nasty. I am going to hand in this letter tomorrow morning. Sorry ladies - this seemed like such a sure thing.


aija said...

Wow, what strange reasoning! Good luck, hope you find a good space :)

BookishKnitster said...

Excellent letter! You go, girl!Speaking as a librarian, libraries are so much more than a building that holds books. It's a community center. A place for people to gather be it for informational purposes, reading purposes or gathering purposes. It sounds like you got one of those stereotypical shushing sourpuss librarians. Shame on her, I say. Nothing disappoints me more than when librarians turn people away from the library. I'm sorry about your experience. I think your letter is excellent! What is a public library for? It says it in it's name....THE PUBLIC. (and I believe that means knitters, too!)

mom said...

are there knitting books available in your library? maybe you should ask what those are for? guess they shouldn't have kid's books, cook books, novels or home/vehicle fix-it books in the library either 'cause some of THOSE PEOPLE might want to come in and use the library too.

Ginny said...

Wow, that's hard to believe. I know that our local library has rooms that any group within the city can use.