Are Libraries Hurting Themselves With Their Policies?
I found this photo on the webpage "Tame the Web." The caption was empty room, empty tables.
I wrote last week about some Barnes and Noble Bookstores taking out their comfy chairs, because people stay there and read and many times do not by what they are reading. They also take snacks to these comfy chairs and get food on the books. I recieved a comment on this blog entry. A women mentioned that her library has removed all their comfy chairs and has turned off their air-conditioning to discourage the homeless from coming to sit in their comfy chairs and cool off in the library air conditioning. Did the library board or the director of this library think of the library patrons who have home, pay property taxes, and might want to drop by the library and get a book? What about the staff who has to work in this hot library during the summer? Would it not be better to make a rule that you can't sleep in the library and enforce this rule?
Then there is a mid-west library who was having problems with young teens coming to the library right after school and not obeying the rules. So the library board closed the library from the end of school til 6 p.m. The staff is inside working, protected from these young patrons and their parents, by these locked doors. What does this say to these young teens when they become tax paying patrons of the library. How does this help young teens, who are most at risk of giving up reading at this age? Would it not be better to hire a securing guard or have the local police come by during these afternoon hours, if their vandalism cannot be handled by the staff.
Sometimes that which seems like a great policy to help solve a problem, creates more problems than it solves. What do you think?