December 22, 2008

Library staff told to reject holiday goods

The library staff in Louisiana's St. Tammany Parish should reject any customer attempts to provide them with holiday treats, a state board says.

The state Board of Ethics has informed the library staff for the New Orleans-area parish they are forbidden from accepting gifts from grateful patrons this holiday season, even small gifts such as cakes or houseplants, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Sunday.

The board's ruling on last week's question from library officials has left some people with an unsavory taste in their mouths.

There is a spirit and then there is the letter of the law, and I think the lines have been blurred in this instance, St. Tammany Parish Library Director Janice Butler said of the ruling.

I personally feel like it's trying to kill a roach in your kitchen with buckshot, public library supporter Kitty Hagen told The Times-Picayune of the board's attempt to minimize unethical behavior in the state. You're going to lose a whole lot of things that you'd rather keep, and you may not get the roach.