Thursday, January 5, 2006

Central library installs needle bins for the downtown junkies

In yet another testament to the decaying state of downtown London, the London Public Library has decided to install needle disposal bins in the public washrooms at the Central Branch in an attempt to control junkie waste. I don't recall seeing needles in the washrooms at the old location, but then it was a little further removed from the heart of Gundon and so a slightly less convenient option for junkies looking for a quick fix in a private stall. But former CEO Darrel Skidmore wasn't planning on sticking around so he didn't much care about the consequences and burden on taxpayers when he successfully lobbied to relocate the Central Library to the Galleria mall and renovate or rebuild nearly every branch in the city. It's Anne Becker's problem now.

From the London Free Press:

London's Central Library has installed a new feature to go along with books, magazines and movies -- needle disposal bins in the public washrooms.

"We know the reality is that drugs are present in our society. The last thing you want is a needle left on the floor and someone picking it up," Anne Becker, chief executive officer of the London Public Library, said yesterday.

The library installed the yellow disposal bins in all the washrooms in the Central Library in Galleria London in December. The washrooms are used by the public, including children.

The disposal bins are designed so that children cannot get a hand inside and be accidentally injured, Becker said.

The decision to put in the disposal containers, which are mounted at chest height in wheelchair accessible stalls, followed incidents in which used needles were found on the floor, in sanitary napkin disposals and toilets.

[..] In a visit to the library yesterday, a Free Press photographer and reporter found needles in several bins, including one two-thirds full with the lid partially open.

One man waited outside the washroom with a syringe and needle cupped in his hand.

[..] The public library has been concentrating on improving safety at branches, Becker said.

"I think our staff and security are on top of these issues. We are a public space and we have millions of people that go through our public libraries a year . . . we want to continue to be open to all."


Anonymous said...

Ian Gillespie has a good editorial on it today.

sex machine said...

Where the hell are the condom machines?!? When I step into a public washroom for sex with a complete stranger I want to have a condom machine handy. You just know that in the heat of the moment (having just worked ourselves up while looking at pictures of the topless "Other" in National Geographic while on meth) neither of us is going to take the time to go buy protection. One would expect the library, if they are truely concerned with public health, would have a complimentary basket of domes in the toilets.