Submitted by the Board of the Friends of the Coronado Public Library (FOL)
It has come to the attention of the Board of the Friends of the Coronado Public Library that, subsequent to several one-sided stories appearing in national media over the holidays, library staff have been receiving a significant volume of derogatory, harassing and even threatening emails. The Friends of the Library Board is outraged to hear that our hard working and dedicated staff have to endure such abuse. We call upon our City Council and City Government to immediately and publicly issue a statement: a) supporting our library staff as exemplary examples of public servants; b) rejecting the defamatory statements made about our library staff in national media; and c) condemning in the strongest voice the threats and harassments being directed at our staff.
The perception of increased risk by the targets of these threats can drive people out of public life (a direct goal of such threats) and, at a minimum, creates the conditions of an unsafe and even hostile work environment. Such vitriol, left unchallenged and uncondemned, will only result in more such attacks, will lead to a further decline of morale amongst our hard working staff and make filling staffing vacancies – already an issue – even more difficult. Who would want to come to work (or stay working) for a city government that doesn’t have its employees’ backs when someone has drawn a target on them? These threatening and harassing emails not only pose a risk to the health and safety of Library Staff, but also to library patrons and our own FOL volunteers working at the library in our Second Hand Prose bookstore (several of whom have already expressed concern over safety).
Therefore, to reiterate, the Friends of the Library supports the City Council and City government in publicly defending our library staff. We understand that the speed of City Council action is limited by requirements of public notice and the Brown Act. We would point out that, while this applies to collective council action, there is no rule preventing individual council members from speaking out immediately in defense of our Library staff. In a related note, we understand that there has been a delay in installation of security cameras for the interior of the library that has already been budgeted for. The Friends wish to provide any and all resources needed to accelerate the installation of these cameras as quickly as possible, for the safety, security and peace of mind of library staff and patrons. We would also ask that the City coordinates with Coronado Police to maintain active and robust security at the Library facility.
Board of Trustees, Friends of the Coronado Public Library