The strangest news in libraryland last week had to be the story of the young man in Racine, WI who was caught openly masturbating in the Racine Public Library. “As a condition of [his] bond, he was told to ‘stay out of all the libraries on the face of the earth,’ according to court records.”
There’s a lot that’s strange and unpleasant in the story, besides just the fact of some 20-year- old deciding that a library was the best place for him to do this particular business. It seems he was taking the “sexy librarian” theme to its logical, if inappropriate, conclusion. Perhaps the Racine librarians are just that sexy, in which case he could argue that it was instead their fault.
Being told that he now has to stay out of all libraries on the face of the earth is comical in itself, but especially bad for the young man if he has a librarian fetish. If that’s the case, he’ll have to find a workaround. Regardless, depriving anyone of the benefits of libraries is cruel and unusual punishment, which means he’ll have to find some libraries that aren’t on the face of the earth.
The geographically closest possibility might be the underground library at the University of Chicago. Here’s a lovely diagram of how it works. He could try to become one of the underground robot workers. And if he were surrounded by robots, they would be much less likely to turn him in for the occasional masturbatory work break.
If big cities scare him, there’s a small public library in Minnesota that’s mostly underground, at least according to the Wikipedia article. For more research, there’s a whole article on libraries built underground. Unfortunately he’d probably have to use a library to get the article.
The biggest problem would be getting through the door. So it would probably be safest if he wants to travel to the Big Apple and use the Underground Public Library of New York. The entrances aren’t part of any library, and once he’s down in the subway tunnels in New York, his public masturbation habits won’t stand out nearly as much as they would in the Racine library.
Another much less likely scenario is to go into outer space. If there’s a library on the International Space Station, it’s probably digital, but if he could hitch a ride up there it’s a possibility.
Enforcement of this particular band would seem difficult. I hope the judge contacted the Library Police arm of INTERPOL, because it’ll take that kind of international coordination to be effective. Right now they’re mostly involved in recovering overdue fines worldwide, but keeping track of a public masturbator is probably easy enough.
We could also try to be sympathetic to the guy. If we’re honest with ourselves, we know that most of us have had sex in a library. We just had the good sense not to get caught. I mean, take a look at him in the picture accompanying this article. The slightly scared eyes, the pudgy little cheeks. Doesn’t he look like a guy who could benefit from reading a few books?
Maybe Racine could take a little pity on the guy and set up a little box outside the library, big enough for a few books, but small enough he can’t crawl into it and pleasure himself. Or people could put up one of those “little libraries” wherever he lives.
Let’s redeem this poor guy if we can. Reading would be a much better public hobby for him that his current activities.