DEAR ABBY: I am a librarian in a medium-sized public library, and I'm losing my patience about one particular issue.
Parents who wouldn't dream of dropping off their 5- and 7-year-olds at the mall or grocery store bring their youngsters to the library and let them roam freely throughout the building with no supervision, or drop them off to fend for themselves while Mom and Dad go shopping or run errands.
To those negligent parents, I want to yell: The public library is not a "safe place" to leave your child unattended! Libraries are public buildings; anyone off the street can enter. I know of at least one convicted child molester who is a regular user of this branch, and there are probably more that we don't know about.
Public libraries are a popular choice for child molesters and "peepers" to frequent and search for victims. Parents, please do not leave your little ones alone at the library. We librarians have jobs to do, and although we care deeply about the safety of your children, we are not baby sitters.
Thank you for helping me get the message out, Abby. -- CONCERNED LIBRARIAN, ANYTOWN, U.S.A.
DEAR LIBRARIAN: You're welcome. It's hard to imagine a parent who is so irresponsible as to take a small child to a public place and leave him or her unsupervised. That said, if I were the concerned librarian, I would contact the local police and notify them that a child has been abandoned on the premises.