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Another Police Interaction


Apr 10, 2007
, ,
imported post

Library police, that is!

I wasn't even aware that the Scranton Public Library had a security staff. The other day, while leaving the library, I was approached by a member of the staff on the stairwell. "Do you have a permit for that?"

I glanced at him briefly, then turned and continued down the stairs. I assumed he was maintainence, due to his clothing: denim shirt, jeans, and work boots. Then, when he pulled a walkie talkie from his back pocket, I began to wonder. He continued to follow me down the stairs, and outside. When I reached the gate, I turned and faced him.

"Can I do something for you, sir?" I asked.

"You can't have that in here," he stated.

I paused, then said, "Who owns the library, sir?"

"It doesn't m-"

"Who owns it? Because, in the Commonwealth of PA, I'm allowed to carry on public property, without hindrance. If this were private property, and you asked me to leave, I'd be obliged to. But, this is a public library. As far as I know, it's public property, as well." I was hoping my poker face was on, because I myself didn't know the answer. I was hoping he didn't, either.

"I don't know, sir. I'll have to check."

"Besides, library staff have never given me a problem with it, even after I was hassled by the police."

"That was you?"


"Well, I understand that what you're doing might be legal, but this is a library. You shouldn't..."

"A-ha! Now we're talking about what I shouldn't do, as opposed to what I can't do. Those are very different things, sir. Like I said, I've been coming here for awhile, and none of the library staff have either noticed, or cared."

"Well, I'll have to check with the administrators..."

"You can also contact Lt. Thomas of the Scranton PD, if you like. I spoke with him about my incident here, and I was concerned I'd be barred from using your facilities. If you have any questions, you can contact him."

"I'll do that."

"Good. I'll see you later."

I've returned twice to the library since then, and so far, no problems.