I no longer have access to library services

Discussion in 'Barefootedness' started by Ahcuah, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Ahcuah

    Ahcuah
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    I got kicked out of my local library Monday morning, the library I've been going to barefoot for 20 years. They recently got a new Director, and he had the library board institute new rules of conduct. Now, they had done so back in 2011, and added one that simply said "appropriate attire". I kept going to the library and never had a bit of trouble. This latest one includes an appendix that gives the penalty for not wearing shoes.

    Looking him up, the new Director came from my old nemesis, the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML). And his list of infractions (that includes the penalty for lack of shoes) is copied directly from CML. Sigh.

    I'd lost a lot of access to library services when CML kept kicking me out. My little local library was fine as a library, but they didn't have access to as many books as CML. But that had recently improved when all the local libraries, including CML, became part of a single consortium. I'd order a book from CML and pick it up at my local library. But now I cannot do even that.

    I tried bringing up the ADA and a religious exemption, but he was having none of it and said that he would eject me next time I came in shoeless (and maybe call the police if necessary). Friendly guy.

    As I was walking out he wished me a nice day. I answered, "I doubt it."
     
  2. BroadArrow

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    dude, that sucks! time to get yourself appointed to and/or run for the library board on a platform of better books for everyone. and then try to make sly moves to review all their policies a second time.... also, time to break out with the ridiculously huge clown shoes. although, i guess "appropriate", like "love", covers a multitude of sins.
     
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  3. Longboard

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    Go get 'em Bob!
     

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  4. Ahcuah

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    In case folks are interested, here's the letter I sent to every member of the Board of Trustees.

     
  5. DNEchris

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    Eloquently and cogently argued! An entirely reasonable approach.

    I hope it persuades them.
     
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  6. Sid

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    Nice letter. Hopefully, you'll be allowed back in the library.
    Otherwise, they're a bunch of nincompoops.
     
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  7. Ahcuah

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    It looks like they are really trying not to give in and find a reason not to allow me in there barefoot.

    Yesterday the library director called my doctor's office to find out more about the letter my doctor had written. The office would not tell them anything because of HIPAA medical privacy laws. It also turns out that the ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Act As Amended) also says that people subject to the act (like the library) cannot make unnecessary inquiries about the disability. And for an inquiry to be necessary it is so that they can do a reasonable job of accommodating the disability, not denying it. I sent him an email to make sure he knew this. Oddly enough, when I sent he an email last week asking for the addresses of the Board of Trustees, he replied almost immediately. I still haven't heard back from him regarding my later email. Hmmm.

    It will be interesting to see where this goes.
     
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  8. Sid

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    Perhaps, he's reviewing it with his lawyer, who will hopefully tell him to back off.
     
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  9. Ahcuah

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    Here's what I suspect is going on behind the scenes.

    I sent my letter to the Board members, not the Director. After getting the letter, at least one of the members (most likely the President) talked to the Director and I wouldn't be surprised if they were worried that I was trying to scam them or take unfair advantage of the law. So the President suggested he call my doctor and find out more about the letter.

    After he got my email I imagine the Director contacted the Board members to let them know of it, and ask them what more they wanted him to do. And that can take a bit, since being a Board member is not a full-time job. So they are still figuring out how they want to handle all of this. The next official Board meeting is this Monday.

    I also find it interesting that the focused on the ADA component of my letter. As far as I can tell, the really, really strong part of the letter is the religious exemption. That's a constitutional issue (Ohio Constitution) and the case law is quite clear. (The only "loophole" there for them is whether I have a sincerely held religious belief, which I do.)

    It also turns out that one of the Board members is a lawyer, so he probably is already involved.
     
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  10. Barefoot TJ

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    When it comes to your disability, they can ask questions of the law and receive answers.

    I wonder how they intend to ask God, the Creator, if you truly are religious.
     
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  11. Ahcuah

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    Folks might be interested in an Ohio case that talks about the standards for determining a sincerely held religious belief.

    State v. Whitaker

    See paragraphs 19 - 24. While it would definitely apply to me in Ohio, it also quotes extensively from cases in other jurisdictions.
     
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  12. Sid

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  13. Barefoot TJ

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    I like that you don't have to "belong" to any certain church or worship facility in order to still be considered religious.

    "[m]en may believe what they cannot prove." Barefooting as part of a religious belief is providence and closely held. No one can prove it or disprove it.

    Is "barefooting" a central tenet of religion? I would say, yes, it is very spiritual. It is the way God created us. He made our soles sensitive for a reason, for many reasons. I believe those reasons are lessons that teach us how to live on this Earth and connect with Him. Being barefoot allows us to be closer to Him. I miss being out there, being able to be out there. I found connection to my providence on every run, on every walk. I am not the same person as I was before. I've lost some of the happiness and fulfillment in my life. I am reminded every day what shoes have done to me, and what our society has forced upon me by what is considered "normal, acceptable."
     
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  14. hikerdana

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    Can we get an update on this? Please. I hope this is a short story with a happy ending and not a long epic.
     
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  15. Random

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    I would also like to know what happened.
     
  16. Ahcuah

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    Sorry for the long delay on an update. After dealing with it I just didn't have the energy to say much about it. But I am now updating my blog with the full story.

    Here's part 1:

    Library Adventures — Part 1

    And here's part2:

    Library Adventures — Part 2

    But I'm afraid you are going to have to wait for part 3 (coming either tomorrow or next week) for the final outcome.
     
  17. Ahcuah

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  18. Sid

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    Thanks for the update and for opening the door just a little bit more for barefooters everywhere!
     
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  19. Christian Lemburg

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    Thanks for the detailed report, and congratulations on the outcome. You say you feel you failed the barefoot community by not convincing them on the general issue. Please don't think like that. Let me tell you, you did not fail me. I rather admire your patience in dealing with these idiotic "rules". And from now on, you will be the living example in that library for others that it is possible. Just think of all those kids whispering "look Ma, he got no shoes on", getting some lame argument in reply. Each of these is a seed of doubt in the cultural norm, and a possibility for more tolerance in the future. They see it is possible. That is the key. If they are willing to think, they will get it.

    Good luck!
     
  20. Barefoot TJ

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    One little barefoot step into this library is a huge barefoot step for the rest of us! Again, congrats!
     
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