The Hamptons Police moved last week to temporarily halt a new library lending program, citing safety concerns. The program, an initiative of the East End Jarvis Hoover Memorial Regional Library in Napeague, was established last month to provide library patrons with quality hunting equipment.
Starting in early May and up until the program was halted, library card holders were able to check out hunting rifles, hunting knives and camouflage suits from the Hoover Library’s supply. In addition, a collection of beer helmets, which allow for hands-free consumption of alcoholic beverages (or soft drinks, if desired) while one’s hands are occupied with holding a rifle, were available to patrons for use.
“We feel that this is a creative new way to bring people into the library,” Hoover’s head librarian Nina Crawford says. “A teenage boy will seldom come to a library for books, but offer him a gun, and now you have a different story.”
Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch sounded a conciliatory note when asked about halting the program. “We’re not trying to take away people’s guns. We just put a temporary hold on the program while we satisfy ourselves that it’s perfectly safe—it should be back up and running very soon.”