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Angry library patrons break glass door

Last week, carpenters were tearing down walls, hammering in drywall, building counters and stringing electrical wires from computers to mainframes.

It’s been a loud week for librarians at Chetco Community Public Library in Brookings.

And at about 3:15 p.m. Monday, one couple had had it.

 

The man and woman had spent about 20 minutes working on a website preparing a resume and when they couldn’t print it out, asked for help, said children’s librarian Dori Blodgett. But the site they were on required payment for services – a fact they apparently didn’t realize.

The two stormed out, Blodgett said. The woman forcefully swung open the front door, and the man followed her and slammed it against the opposite wall, breaking the single sheet of safety glass in the door.

“They got very upset,” Blodgett said. “To do that much damage, they both had to have used a lot of force. It was a pricey push.”

It will cost more than $500 to replace the glass – and the library’s insurance deductible is $500.

Witnesses supplied police with descriptions of the couple, said to be in their early 20’s. The woman signed up to use the Internet using the name Jennifer. Library officials didn’t recognize either of them.

“Remodeling is stressful for everyone,” Blodgett said. “Right now, we have three terminals and people can sign up for a half-hour only. A half-hour’s nothing, especially if you’re trying to do any kind of job application. That’s very stressful.”

Usually the library has seven computers; after the renovation, it will feature 11 and a typewriter. Half the room will feature audio books, thus freeing up the center of the institution for more bookshelves.

While construction is underway, computers are available for half-hour increments during library hours. And they’re in use every minute of the day, Blodgett said. The library was open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.

“It’s expensive to have a computer at home, and in today’s economy, it’s quite a deal to be able to use a computer for free,” Blodgett said. “Sure it’s an economic issue. How nice would it be to sit at home and do your own computer work if you can afford it?”

She suspects the couple had other issues going on in their lives and the website conundrum was the last straw.

“That’s not a common reaction if you can’t do something on the Internet,” Blodgett said. “In this economy, tempers are short. People are frustrated.

“I have a feeling they won’t be back; they knew they made such a scene,” she added. “It would be nice if they came in to say, ‘Sorry, we screwed up.’ The reality of it is, they probably won’t.” 

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