This week is a difficult anniversary for Kelly Clark, a year ago his wife Amber was killed in the parking lot of the North Natomas Library near Inderkum high school. The man accused of killing her has a long history of harassing and violent behavior toward librarians here and in the Midwest and the murder sparked a nationwide conversation about the safety of our public libraries. Kelly told me his wife had expressed concern and was looking for another job. When she didn't come home from work last December, he had a bad feeling, drove to the library and was met by officers.
Drug use, inappropriate sexual behavior, addiction, mental illness and violence is something librarians are often untrained to handle and when they do try to kick people out for those behaviors they are sometimes attacked. Two weeks after Amber's murder a librarian in another state was killed. Since his wife's death, Kelly has worked in several ways to increase training, awareness and works within the library system himself:
The sound above is the conversation we had this week. Kelly Clark joined me in studio along with Rivkah Sass, Sacramento Public Library Director. Also with us, Hector Alvarez, a consultant in workplace violence prevention. We talk about what has changed since Amber's murder, what dangers still exist and why when the uncomfortable becomes comfortable, boundaries are blurred and violence can happen. A vigil for Amber Clark will be held this Wednesday evening to mark the one year anniversary of her death.
((note : Ronald Seay is the suspect in Amber's murder. He was last in court in September. The DA said he would not seek the death penalty and the judge wants a sanity review. Defense wants to get him into a facility DA wants life in prison without parole.))