With typical candor, Kansas City Public Library CEO Crosby Kemper III tells The Kansas City Star today that its tabulation of recent library security problems is on the money. "We've been lucky that we haven't had a really major incident," he admits.
Kemper cites homeless persons downtown as a contributing factor to what the Star reports is a 59 percent rise from 2008 to 2009 in security incident reports (and projects will be a 52 percent increase this year over last). "It is a population we want to serve," he tells the daily. "At the same time, it is a population with a lot of problems."
Kemper adds, "We can do better than we've been doing." The library board
met yesterday with police to talk strategy, according to the Star.
Despite its glib lead ("Shhhhh! ... Leave your guns
at home," Sara Shepherd writes -- italics hers), there's no
faulting the Star's numbers, which include tallies of various
specific offenses, such as "public display of explicit sexual material
or child pornography" (44 reports so far this year). There's no
disputing the accounting because it comes from the library's own
security database -- something its deputy executive director for
operations, Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, says is rare among
Equally rare is the library CEO who --
refreshingly? ill-advisedly? -- doesn't argue the story's take-away:
Watch your ass at the library, and if you smell something, say