Richmond librarian calls for heightened security at main branch

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Richmond Public Library at 325 Civic Center Plaza.

Security should be heightened at the Richmond Public Library’s Main Branch due to increasing incidents that are degrading public safety both in and around the facility, a staffer told City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.

Children’s Librarian Sheila Dickinson said she and the storytime families she serves at the library are concerned over an increase in the past six months in incidents of public urination, defecation, drug and alcohol use, verbal intimidation, panhandling, gang activity, vandalism and physical altercations at the Main Library at 325 Civic Center Plaza.

The incidents are happening both inside the library, in the courtyard, and next to the children’s room, Dickinson said.

“These activities have grown exponentially over the last two months and have become overwhelming for the families using the library and the staff working at the library,” Dickinson said.

One resident wrote into the Standard to say that Dickinson and other librarians “work tirelessly to make the Richmond Public Library one of the best institutions in Richmond” and hoped awareness of the problem would lead to action.

Dickinson requested a full-time security guard be assigned just to the Main Library. It wasn’t immediately known whether that request would be fulfilled. Check back for updates.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I really hope they can get some security there to straighten that up. Its a wonderful resource for Richmond residents children and adults. It used to be such a nice library with so many resources. I think if they run into problems getting full time security then they should start a online petition to the city of Richmond. IT would be devastating to the city to lose this library and let the problems take over.

  2. I’ve gone to the library and found homeless people sleeping at the tables. One person actually asked me to move because it was his regular spot.

      • The City hires ppl that don’t have concerns for Richmond. It’s all about getting a paycheck.
        So many ppl hired by the City of Richmond have found a way to keep their fingers in the cookie jar.
        Employees drive city cars for their own personal business.
        Change has to start at the top.

  3. I would love to work for the city of richmond i am homeless and care about what happens in the public health and safety most definitely, you might think that i am unusual but if others see that one of there own cares that much i figure that it will reduce the negativity. They will surely see i we mean business.

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