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Police say disruptive man asked to leave Copley library waits outside for worker, punches and Maces him

Boston Police report arresting a man they say tried beating up a BPL employee on Boylston Street last night after the worker asked him to leave the building for causing a ruckus.

Police say William Zaniboni, 49, became "irate without cause and began yelling" at the worker, who demanded he leave the building, shortly before the library's 9 p.m. scheduled closing:

When the victim asked the suspect to leave the building, the suspect indicated that he would be waiting outside for him. A short time later when the victim was leaving, the suspect approached him and struck him in the face with his clenched fist one time. The victim then proceeded to defend himself by bringing the suspect to the ground. Once on the sidewalk, the suspect produced a spray can of an undetermined chemical agent believed to be mace and sprayed the victim in the face. The suspect then walked towards Exeter Street but returned to the scene a short time later where he was placed in custody without incident after being positively identified. Officers canvassed the area but were unable to recover the spray bottle used by the suspect during the altercation.

Zaniboni was charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery, police say.

Innocent, etc.



Everyone remember this the next time you are tempted to use that talking point.

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non se·qui·tur

/ˌnän ˈsekwədər/


a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement..

Voting closed 39

You try getting yelled at and threatened (and in this case outright attacked) because the free service you're providing all day to hundreds of people is not what someone wants or needs at that exact moment.

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Violence frequently the #2 cause of workplace death for (non-mil) municipal employees right behind vehicle deaths. In terms of days away from work due to workplace violence, according to AFL-CIO 2019 report, State Govt had a rate of 16.1 incidents per 10K employees compared to 9.3 in the private sector and 4.0 for local govt. My lazy search effort didn't produce current stats for violent death rates for local govt, but I seem to recall they're always up there compared to other professions. At any rate, I think Swirls' point was clear, we under pay people who we also (not part of their job description) put into harm's way. Think parking enforcement, social workers, building inspectors, etc.

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According to what I read (that you wrote) local government employees like this poor sap are less likely to have an incident of violence than your average private sector employee (4 incidents per 10,000 employees versus 9.3)

Still, sucks to be that guy.

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The suspect was interviewed on WCVB news last night; his version of the altercation is completely different, naturally.

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What was his version? The librarian spoke so firmly to me that I just had to assault him? I was innocently shadow boxing at the entrance of the library, he shouldn't have surprised me by walking into my fist like that?

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Managers can create an abusive working environment for Boston Public Library Staff http://bplpsa.info Thus in turn BPL Staff can behave antagonistically toward Library Users for what are perceived as complex interactions/transactions at the Lib. Check out BPL Administrative Archives of The Real Sheet newsletter of the B.P.L.P.S.A. Boston Public Library Staff Association and the newsletter's subsequent online news mechanism for BPL Staff. Newsletters from the other Unions representing BPL Library Workers are good sources of information about the BPL workplace Grievances. Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations Cases as well.

Library Researchers, Library Historians, folks studying Libraries can also check out the G.A.N.s General Administrative Notices of Boston Public Library Administration. A failure of a local graduate program in Library and Information Science at Simmons University to well prepare Public Library Managers and Public Library workers for perceived complex interactions with Library Users.

New Leadership Team, new management practices for Boston Public Library and a new, better Public Librarians program at UMass Boston or Northeastern U with the Case Method of study please! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_method

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Are you a librarian?

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You'd be surprised what you'll find out. He's been obsessed with the BPL since before you knew what a library was.

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Having never worked at the BPL, I can't comment on their work-related culture, or whether it contributes to issued between staff and patrons. I did, however, receive my MS in Library & Information Studies from Simmons within the past few years, and while I don't recall there being any classes specifically devoted to the topic, I can safely say that dealing with disruptive patrons was definitely discussed in several classes.

As a public facility, libraries such as the BPL are open to everyone in the community, and all the librarians I've known an/or worked with have done their best to be polite and helpful to patrons. None of them deserve to be abused in the way this BPL employee was, and patrons such as this are the reason a great many libraries have installed panic buttons in certain parts of the building that connect to a security company and/or directly with the local police department.

Additionally, while it would be nice to have a less expensive option than Simmons (a fine school, but admittedly a tad pricey) for prospective librarians to attend, the fact remains that, right now, Simmons is it for the Boston area, and one of the few colleges with such a program in New England. If someone feels particularly strongly about this, perhaps they should discuss the matter with some of the local academic institutions...

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