Leominster's library denies non-resid...

Leominster's library denies non-residents, spirit of origin - S...

There are 99 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from May 13, 2009, titled Leominster's library denies non-residents, spirit of origin - S.... In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

For the first time in my 70 years, a public library -- the Leominster Public Library -- has refused to lend me its books.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Sentinel & Enterprise.

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Observer

United States

#1 May 13, 2009
It seems like your anger and frustration is misdirected. Go back to Wong ang the leaders of Fitchburg and express your views to them.
X-Burger

Maynard, MA

#2 May 13, 2009
Well Charlotte, you have just proven the point that was brought up well before the Fitchburg Public Library actually lost its accreditation. That simply fact that if the city of Fitchburg allows the library to loose its accreditation then city residence will not be allowed to borrow books from neighboring library’s. At that time no one seemed to care and the residence of Fitchburg cared more about other useless services in the city. There were many comments about not needing to borrow books and that there is the internet and so on.

Now that the Fitchburg Public Library is not accredited it will take "MANY" years to get it back. It will not be as simple as if the city has money in the budget next year to open the library up full time again. It will take many, many years.

Once again, the people of Fitchburg, residence as well as those who are so called running the city (into the ground i must add) dropped the ball.

Let me finish by saying... "Told You So!"
You get what you pay for

Auburn, MA

#3 May 13, 2009
Charlotte,

You wanted the benefit of living in a less expensive city, so now you must suffer the detriment of diminished city services. If you want a nicer library, then you'll have to spend the money to move to a nicer city. If you want a handout, ask President Obama, not the citizens of Leominster.
Excuse Me

United States

#4 May 13, 2009
I am a resident of Fitchburg, but live very close to the Leominster-Fitchburg line. Last week I went to the Leominster library, because it is very close to my house, and wanted to get books for my project. I go to LHS and my teacher was appalled when I told her the library didn’t let me take out any books. She believed that since I went to LHS, I should be allowed to get the books. I wouldn’t mind paying a fee because for the past three years that I’ve been in high school the Leominster Public Library has been of great use to me.
You say “we told you so”, and this goes well for those who took advantage of the Leominster Library and misused it and the Fitchburg Public library, but what about me and people like me and Charlotte? I have always been a good person when it comes to using the library, so while your tax dollars may pay for it, I was grateful to have such great privilege to use it. So, excuse me for trying to get a good education by taking out books from your library!
techie

Malden, MA

#5 May 13, 2009
How much federal and state tax dollars have been and are used in the construction and operation of the Leominster library? This includes ANY grants from the state library commission.
If EVERY penny ever used is from Leominster then enjoy your library otherwise let those of us who paid for it use it.
Otherwise sue under the ADA act and get access.
Hello ACLU?????
Interesting

Maynard, MA

#6 May 13, 2009
I suppose all of you with the hateful comments are aware that despite the petty politics paid by the librarians in the "certified" libraries to force Fitchburg to do without police, fire and street lights and meals on wheels for the elderly (yes that was cut too), LEOMINSTER and all the other cities and towns who have revoked Fitchburg resident borrowing privileges from their overbuilt but understocked libraries - they all still have borrowing privileges at the Fitchburg Public Library - which has the most extensive collection of any library in the area.

So while Fitchburg property owners continue to subsidize the borrowing habits of residents of the cities and towns that revoked reciprocal borrowing privileges, we continue to be "shat upon" by the holier than thous.

One hopes that the Fitchburg voters will remember that when a measure came before the Fitchburg City Council to revoke borrowing privileges for those who do not extend reciprocal privileges to Fitchburg resident, certain councilors such as Jody Joseph beat their chests and took the "higher ground."

Of course, Joseph depends upon Leominster and Lunenburg residents to support his day-old fish business. Let's see those people at the Fitchburg polls in November.
Rebecca

Westminster, MA

#7 May 13, 2009
Thank you for posting on this matter. I have also felt your frustration when I tried to take a book out of the Leominster Library and got denied. The librarian wasn't even nice about it. Mayor Wong also needs to provide the Fitchburg Public Library with the proper funding to keep it open during regular hours. The children in Fitchburg could use a place to study and stay out of trouble. The Fitchburg Library needs more publicity and children's programs that will inspire growth within the community. Education should be rewarded instead of put on the back burner.
Charlottte

Fitchburg, MA

#8 May 13, 2009
Observer wrote:
It seems like your anger and frustration is misdirected. Go back to Wong ang the leaders of Fitchburg and express your views to them.
I already have. You're right; Fitchburg does bear responsibility but not alone. Also, I said I was offended, not angry. What do you think should be done to reverse this situation?
Charlottte

Fitchburg, MA

#9 May 13, 2009
You get what you pay for wrote:
Charlotte,
You wanted the benefit of living in a less expensive city, so now you must suffer the detriment of diminished city services. If you want a nicer library, then you'll have to spend the money to move to a nicer city. If you want a handout, ask President Obama, not the citizens of Leominster.
We didn't move here because it's a "less expensive" city. We have other personal and family reasons for being here. We are grateful that some costs of living here are lower. I still think that libraries play an important role in supporting residents' aspirations, and that requires understanding on the part of the libraries and city governments about what a library's role in our communities should be. I think we have all lost sight of that goal. I also think that citizens of Fitchburg and Leominster who think Andrew Carnegie had it right should pitch in however they can and help. Charlotte
Charlotte

Fitchburg, MA

#10 May 13, 2009
Thank you all for responding to my letter to the Editor. At the very least, perhaps now the libraries and elected officials in our cities will have some idea of the breadth of opinion on this matter. I hope this conversation will continue in a positive voice and that, among the lot of us, we might even come up with some additional proposals for making our libraries relevant in specific ways in our lives and communities. To start off, is there more feed- back about non-Leominster-residents paying a service fee (if you wish to use the library), based on the per-resident tax dollars appropriated for the library? In my opinion, if the Leominster library were to institute such a policy, at least we would be back in the door. Then we have an opportunity to speak up directly to the Trustees.
Alternative

Maynard, MA

#11 May 13, 2009
If you read the Mass General Laws pertaining to libraries, there might be cause for a class action suit against the libraries that revoked Fitchburg's privileges.

Why? Because the law says that if the library in one city or town provides borrowing privileges for residents of another city or town, then the library of the second city or town must provide reciprocal privileges. It does not say either library must be "certified" (which is simply "certified to receive state aid", has nothing to do with quality.)

Fitchburg continues to extend borrowing privileges to residents of Leominster, Lunenburg and all the other towns that have revoked Fitchburg residents' privileges.

Perhaps library users who are similarly offended might want to organize and file a complaint with the Attorney General.

Our state tax dollars support those libraries. That, combined with the fact that we have continued privileges for those residents, would support Fitchburg residents not having to pay any additional fee.

They borrow far more of our books and materials than we ever borrow from them. If we were to rescind their privileges they would feel far more pain than we are currently experiening in being denied access to their libraries.

When people refuse to do the right thing, sometimes it is necessary to invoke the law. That's why statutes were enacted.
sos

Worcester, MA

#12 May 14, 2009
Alternative, I don't think legal action is the right way to go. It only causes more expenses for the defense, and will probably lead to Leominster just saying that they won't borrow books from Fitchburg anymore.

techie, sue under the ADA? On what grounds? The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act. What disability should she sue under? The lack of access to another towns library is not a disability.

Also, Leominster isn't blocking you from entering the building, so you can still go and use their resources, you just can't take them home with you.
Lowe Street Resident

Somerville, MA

#13 May 14, 2009
Personally, I liked Chalotte's idea of a non-resident fee. I think anyone trying to use the library for educational and job-seeking purposes should be given books. Shame on the library for not helping the LHS student. Yes, I am a Leominster resident and yes I pay taxes. I also probably don't use the library as much as I should. I think the whole spirit of the free library system is lost if we start imposing fees; and I agree that we can't forget that State and Federal money went into building the libray. I wonder how a tax payer in Texas feels about funding Leominster's story hour?
Bono

Providence, RI

#14 May 14, 2009
You can actually thank Fitchburgs ex-director for this mess. She was trying to pressure the city council to fund the library so she met with all the local libraries to get them to deny Fitchburg residents access to library services.

No doubt there are now official policies in place now, but the source of getting those policies in place was Fitchburgs ex library director. Thanks Ann
techie

Malden, MA

#15 May 14, 2009
sos wrote:
Alternative, I don't think legal action is the right way to go. It only causes more expenses for the defense, and will probably lead to Leominster just saying that they won't borrow books from Fitchburg anymore.
techie, sue under the ADA? On what grounds? The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act. What disability should she sue under? The lack of access to another towns library is not a disability.
Also, Leominster isn't blocking you from entering the building, so you can still go and use their resources, you just can't take them home with you.
Disabled : A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;

ADA
title II, subtitle A, of the ADA which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all services, programs, and activities provided to the public by State and local governments, except public transportation services.

If you have a special needs child or are disabled in any way and any library refuses to provide you with a service(regardlss of where you live) then you may have a case...
ADA

Maynard, MA

#16 May 14, 2009
techie wrote:
<quoted text>
Disabled : A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
ADA
title II, subtitle A, of the ADA which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all services, programs, and activities provided to the public by State and local governments, except public transportation services.
If you have a special needs child or are disabled in any way and any library refuses to provide you with a service(regardlss of where you live) then you may have a case...
Nah, sorry that dog won't hunt. And it's an insult to those of us who are disabled who depend upon the ADA for enforcement of legitimate needs. Accessing the Leominster Public Library can in no way be considered an access or discrimination based upon disability. It's legal discrimination based upon legal criteria that have been set up.

If I had my way we would simply stop subsidizing those who do not reciprocate with us. We have the best collection. They would suffer far more than we do.

And yes, this whole mess WAS caused by Ms. Ann running like an old hen from one library group to another. They're a tight knit little coven and they state at their association website that they know what's best for other cities and towns and that cutting off privileges is their tactic to force other cities and towns into overrides and selling their firstborn to keep the libraries overfunded, er, certified.

I have a dear friend who is a a librarian and she is the exception to the rule. Other than this ONE individual, I have yet to meet a librarian who has an IQ higher than 80. Silly mean little people for the most part. And I'm a lifelong library user, reader, professional student.

Thank goodness for the Internet. Haven't needed a library in years. I buy books and resell them, take all the time I want to read them. Cheaper than the gas to get to the library.
And another thing

Maynard, MA

#17 May 14, 2009
Part deux:

And another thing. The library decertification was our punishment for opposing the trash tax. Last year she had the library group calling, mailing and emailing city councilors to shove through this illegal tax that the taxpayers don't want. It didn't fly and she disproportionately cut the library funding so we would feel maximum pain.(See Leffert's posts at Save Fitchburg "what would make you say ouch?" "when is enough enough?" "what would hurt you the most?" shortly before he gave up the ghost.

So last year the library group lobbied for her trash tax.

This year it's the cops and she got the head of the cop's union to write to the city councilors (out of order, Chris, police unions do NOT interfere with non-police legislative issues). It backfired and councilors are disgusted and angry.

It never was about the library. It always was about her illegal trash tax. She didn't get what she wanted and she punished the people of Fitchburg. Surprised she let Wirtenan get away. They're two peas in a pod.

Well, the upside for them is that neither of them will ever have to worry about a heart attack.
Paul from Leominster

Leominster, MA

#18 May 14, 2009
techie wrote:
How much federal and state tax dollars have been and are used in the construction and operation of the Leominster library? This includes ANY grants from the state library commission.
If EVERY penny ever used is from Leominster then enjoy your library otherwise let those of us who paid for it use it.
Otherwise sue under the ADA act and get access.
Hello ACLU?????
techie: You have a good point. Leominster has used state and federal money for our library...AS HAS FITCHBURG LIBRARY! Why did you do what you did to Fitchburg library after WE, THE RESIDENTS OF LEOMINSTER, helped fund your library? It is really unreasonable for you to say you do not want to use your tax dollars to fund a library, then turn around and try to dictate how Leominster Library should operate their library, using LEOMINSTER TAX DOLLARS. You already declared that an operating full functioning library is not important to you...why all the fuss about how neighbors spend THEIR TAX DOLLARS?
Chris

Amesbury, MA

#19 May 14, 2009
I am from one of the small towns surrounding Fitchburg. For years, CMRLS circulated books, videos, etc. from the CMRLS collection, and generally, the source library was Fitchburg. Thank-you, Fitchburg for all the good books and videos over the years.
When I was growing up, I always knew that I could use my library card at any other Massachusetts library. Was this related to Alternative's comment "Because the law says that if the library in one city or town provides borrowing privileges for residents of another city or town, then the library of the second city or town must provide reciprocal privileges. It does not say either library must be "certified" (which is simply "certified to receive state aid", has nothing to do with quality.)"? If so, let Fitchburg residents physically go to other libraries and borrow (not use inter-library loan to have the books delivered to Fitchburg).
Paul from Leominster

Leominster, MA

#20 May 14, 2009
Interesting wrote:
I suppose all of you with the hateful comments are aware that despite the petty politics paid by the librarians in the "certified" libraries to force Fitchburg to do without police, fire and street lights and meals on wheels for the elderly (yes that was cut too), LEOMINSTER and all the other cities and towns who have revoked Fitchburg resident borrowing privileges from their overbuilt but understocked libraries - they all still have borrowing privileges at the Fitchburg Public Library - which has the most extensive collection of any library in the area.
So while Fitchburg property owners continue to subsidize the borrowing habits of residents of the cities and towns that revoked reciprocal borrowing privileges, we continue to be "shat upon" by the holier than thous.
One hopes that the Fitchburg voters will remember that when a measure came before the Fitchburg City Council to revoke borrowing privileges for those who do not extend reciprocal privileges to Fitchburg resident, certain councilors such as Jody Joseph beat their chests and took the "higher ground."
Of course, Joseph depends upon Leominster and Lunenburg residents to support his day-old fish business. Let's see those people at the Fitchburg polls in November.
Interesting: Please elaborate on how Leominster residents forced Fitchburg to "do without police, fire,and street lights and meals on wheels for the elderly". Oh, and thank you for keeping the library open, what 10 hours per week, so Leominster residents can go over there and use the library. With the way your downtown district has been operating lately I don't think many of us are going to go through downtown to use your library...not without a police escort...but then again you are shutting them down also.

And saying you have the most extensive book collection in the area (without access to them) is like saying Fitchburg has the largest water supply in the area, but don't plan on getting any of it in case of a fire because we closed the fire station all but 2 says a week.

"we continue to be "shat upon" by the holier than thous."...and YES, you did bring this on upon yourselves, so we hope you enjoy the "shat" that you asked for!

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