The big lockout

October 1, 2013 

Rita Vogel, the new library director for Lancaster County, has been in this position since June and has already has some major groups and organizations disgruntled.

Vogel was shocked to learn that outside groups were using the Del Webb and other Lancaster County libraries after the libraries were closed. She called it “extremely rare” among most libraries because it makes no sense to have a public building open when there are no library personnel working.

There are 18 groups that meet at the Del Webb library, and it is only open two nights a week until 8 p.m.. The main Lancaster Library is open four days a week until 8 p.m. Since the Indian Land library opened, it had been without a mechanism to count patrons, so the volume of residents this facility uses was unavailable until two weeks ago, when, graciously, the Friends of the Library purchased a counting device.

Vogel said her job was to preserve and protect the library. Though she said she would accept the library board’s decision, Vogel said she personally could not endorse continued use after hours. In August she was instructed to write a formal policy before the matter was voted on Monday night. The board was with Vogel and decided to cut the groups off from access after hours, further limiting the options for all these civic groups, clubs and other organizations.

Most of the board members did not know that the Del Webb meeting room is sealed off from the rest of the library with a separate entrance, specifically built for meetings. The board was gracious enough to listen to our pleas, but really it was just a waste of our time.

I would like to make a suggestion to Vogel that perhaps she check out one of the library’s books, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie before the next meeting because, to me, she generated a feeling of uncaring and arrogance.

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