The Anal-Retentive Librarian
Or, "How many times can a librarian
call the police on me before they stop coming?"
Current number of times this librarian has been forced by her superior
to reverse a discriminatory, limiting decision regarding my
Current number of lies she has told me which were later proven to be a
Current number of Police Officers who have come to see me at the
request of the librarian: 13
Current number of times the police have said that she is a pain in the
ass to them as well: 2
The librarian installed two stereos in the windows facing the porch
where the homeless sleep when it rains. One played Rap music
while the other one played Christmas music all night.
Ostensibly to discourage them from sleeping there.So she hoped.
They all just rapped Christmas songs and then fell asleep. Too
bad she never studied the history of public libraries in America
This is the ongoing diary of the rather silly and strained
relationship between the newest Lahaina librarian and myself, a 16 year
patron of this library.
When I returned to Maui this April, I made a
point of walking up to the new Head librarian's desk and
introducing myself as a previous volunteer who had taught classes in
origami and painting here for free.
I also informned her that when I was asked to give
computer classes by the previous librarian, Caroline, I wrote
internet 101, a one page manual for library computer use for the
Her cold ,dead fish response was a harbinger of things to
Soon after I arrived, I began to bring my Mac into the library,
place it on the desk provided for that purpose, using the power strip
installed for easy electical access .. One day, the security guard came
up to me and said, " You have to unplug it NOW". To which I replied "
But I'm in the middle of a back up to my external hard drive and that
is not a good thing to do".
I went to the library check out desk, asked the
assistant why I was being told this, and she referred me to the head
librarian who then said, "Because of the high cost of electricity
in Maui, there is a NEW policy that TRANSIENTS are not allowed to plug
in their computers". I offered to give her a quarter to pay for the 200
watts of electricity it consumes per hour. She would not accept that
option and went back, halted the backup,packed it up.
On the way out I asked the way cool assistant
librarian to please give me a copy tof this NEW rule.
Later that day, I walked in and Cindy gave me a copy of
thea rule document dating from 1999, (NEW?) which said things like
toasters and hair driers were not allowed.
The next day i walked in, waited in line for 25 minutes to
speak to the Head librarian again, with a copy of the rules in hand.
Holding it out, I asked, " What part of this old rule did I
violate? She replied " Oh! It wasn't that, it was that you
left your computer and that we are not responsible for articles left in
To which I replied, " I left to go outside for a moment
and could easily see any one messing with my computer through the open
doorway". She had no good answer for that so she turned to the
next person in line and began to wait on them.
I said "Excuse me, but I'm not finished yet, " Would you
please give me the email address of your superior?" She did, I
wrote the man in Oahu, and the next day her decision was reversed and I
was told I could use the outlet.
A few weeks later, My friend and master coconut weaver "French
Michael" came to visit me from Oahu, staying at my place and
accompaning me at my weaving locations. One day I mentioned that there
was a new weaving book in the library with his photo in it.
He had no knowledge of it and so we got the writer's name
and went to use the library computer to email him and ask him what's up
We also wrote a letter to Michael's son in Canada.
As I was typing , Michael went to the bathroom in the library and
returned in a few minutes.
The next day when we went to look for a reply, Michael's
internet priviledges had been suspended. A talk with the
librartian revealed that because he was not sitting right next to me
the entire time I was typing his email, his priviledges were
cancelled. We went directly to the computers, logged in on
my card, wrote another email to her superior and the next day THAT
decision was also reversed.
A few days later I was peacefully reading in the
library when a totally drunk man, half asleep in the chair began
spitting all over the room and burping loudly. The police were called
and he was helped out and his remaining vodka was poured out. Since I
was there and the police were handy, the librarian
apparently decided it would be a convenient time to hassle me
They asked me to stand and remove my "weaponry" with my left
hand. I asked them "What if I were left handed?" They ignored that
humorous remark. I removed my four knives (weavers usually have
at least 2) slowly with my left hand from my right hand pocket, my
shirt pocket, my shoulder bag and gave them, handle first to the
officers.. They then walked me outside and handed them back to
me. I said "She's a real pain in the ass you know". They
agreed, saying that she was also a major pain in the ass for them as
well. I put the knives in my bicycle pannier, returned to the
library and finished my reading, smiling at the head librarian all the
November 27, 2007
It's a rainy day in Lahaina, the library front porch with it's
big eaves has become a resting place for the locals and the tourists
alike. I parked my bicycle and trailer on the south side of the
library, away from the congestion of the porch and the front door, went
for a walk in the rain with my beach umbrella. I got to Foodland
where my repair job on the umbrella failed and I had to fix it. So it
took a little longer than I had expected to return to the library.
When I returned, the security guard, at the direction of the
librarian, had already moved my bicycle out to the lawn and was
dragging my trailer, a clean clothes bag stuck under the wheel in the
mud, trying to get it out to the bicycle. I stopped him, called
him a thief, told him never to touch my property again and then
took the trailer out to the grass by the bicycle. I asked him if
moving it was his idea, and he pointed at the librarian's desk,
indicating that she had given the order.
I returned to the library a little while later, to write
the previous paragraphs, and was just was about to click the
publish button when a police officer came up behind me and asked me to
step outside. I complied and then he told me that he was
there to serve me an official State of Hawai'i document which said:
NO TRESPASSING BY TERRY W. HILL
ON LAHAINA LIBRARY PROPERTY FOR ONE YEAR!
It seems that I should have asked permission to park my
bicycle under the eaves near the dumpster on the south side, even
though many people have been doing this since the library opened in the
50's without such permission. It is only common sense to put your
bike away from the main flow
of pedestrian traffic yes? Apparently, the librarian doesn't think
Nor does she seem to think that resting on HER sidewalk is
The previous day, November 25, I rode to town
in the hot afternoon sun of Lahaina, parked myself and my
bike/trailer combo on the sidewalk leading to the grass and sat
down, took off my shirt and laid my hot sweaty back on the
The new security guard came up and said "You can't lay down" "Why
not?" I asked. "Where is the regulation that says that?"
After several ignored repetitions of his order not to lay down
were ineffective, he realized he was facing someone more stubborn
than himself. He then went inside and reported the incident
to the librarian, who of course, called the police. Another
officer responded promptly. (He was the same officer who
said, "Yeah, she's a pain in the ass for us too". )
He informed me that this time, the Librarian had said that I was
blocking the wheelchair access lane, therefore breaking a library rule.
Unfortunately, the wheelchair access lanes are the sidewalks leading to
the north and south, not the one I was on which leads to the west
and ends in a drop off, usually a puddle from the sprinklers, a bumpy
gravel path, and then the lawn. Definitely not wheelchair material.
Anyway, I complied, moved my bike and myself and was having a
chat with the officer when officer Hodges drove across the grass into
the park in his metermaidmobile.
I walked away smiling before he could take his cute little helmet off.
One year has passed, and during that year, Barnes and
Noble opened a store a few blocks away, so I got my reading fix
there. And good coffee!
Most days I sat weaving my baskets on the lawn of the county
park, 10 feet from the end of library property, and looking up
occasionally to get stinkeye from the librarian at her desk. When she
looked up to admire the ocean view, there I was.
The only difference is that now I can once again walk into and use the