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Violence Up at South LA Library and Others, Too

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No longer safe havens for "Harry Potter"-reading 8th graders, libraries like the Mark Twain library in South Los Angeles are now violent places where non-readers go to shoot drugs, have sex, and attack other patrons, reports the Times.

"At the Jefferson branch, six windows were smashed this month by gang members seeking a man who hid inside until police gave him a ride home. At the Exposition branch, an August shooting outside the library's main door prevented patrons from leaving until security arrived. Last spring, a principal at a charter school sent a letter to parents, urging students not to go to the Hyde Park-Miriam Matthews Public Library because children were being "taunted, harassed and intimidated by the students [from nearby schools]." Now that the standard approach of saying "shhh" ---well, it worked for decades---has failed, posted security guards may help. UPDATE: In library-related news, a reader reports that construction of the Silver Lake library on Glendale Blvd is progressing along; our previous coverage here.
· Refuge for readers can be risky [LA Times]