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Inside Practically Paradise

Nailing a reader for daring to use a public library he’s not entitled to

Dominic Phillips gets nailed by someone in the public library. What? He is banned and can’t use the library because some library employee snitched on him! I understand that public libraries serve only their patrons and their tax-payers. Where is the appeals process when you are dealing with nonresidency fees? Why does his zipcoded area library insist upon a $5 membership fee that doesn’t provide access to all of Pennsylvania libraries? What exactly is Access Pennsylvania if it doesn’t provide access?  

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Nailed ‘Em – Library Crime
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Public libraries only serve their tax-paying citizens. School libraries serve only their students, plus every homeschooled child in the area who requests access. How do you feel? Should Dominic have an advocate on his behalf? Do you punish children for glitches in the system right in the middle of summer reading programs?

View the video from Monday, July 27, 2009 Colbert Report.

June 22, 2009 update stating Dominic can use his card until the end of the year. 

Maybe I am disturbed by this portion of the newspaper article from Sunday, June 21, 2009: 

"A female employee at the Nazareth library then called Easton Area’s main library to complain that a mistake had been made, said Stephanie Supinski, manager of the Palmer branch, who later left the message on the Philips’ answering machine. Supinski said she didn’t know who made the complaint with the main library.

Nazareth library cards are not available to Tatamy residents because the borough does not contribute funding to that library system. Dominick Philip can now receive a paid subscription for $5 annually to the Easton Area Public Library, but that subscription permits the use of only Easton Area facilities, Supinski said."

The Annoyed Librarian wrote about this on the Library Journal blog back in June and the comments continue to come in. 

Okay, I have a confession to make. I live in Wilson County and my family has library cards for the Mt. Juliet, TN, library. Because I teach in Metro-Nashville, I also am "entitled" to get a library card from the wonderful Nashville Public Library system. I confess that sometimes when I check out books from NPL, my children read them, too. Are the Nashville police going to come and arrest me for stealing? I don’t think so.


  1. I live outside of Hamilton County (Cincinnati, Ohio) and I have enjoyed access to the Butler County AND Hamilton County libraries. Hamilton County had my address and it was obviously NOT Cincinnati. But I worked in Cincinnati so I don’t know if that counted or not. I think this is the stupidest d@mn thing I’ve heard in a long time. Gimme his address, I’ll send him some books.

  2. When I lived in Cannon Co, TN, I had library cards for four different libraries in four different counties. No cost and no question. And I used all four libraries at one time or another. Glad I live in TN!